Vavi not among reasons for special congress call

2013-09-22 21:59
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Durban - Cosatu's embattled general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi did not feature among the reasons given by member unions calling for a special congress, the federation's president said in Durban on Sunday.

S'dumo Dlamini said there had been eight or nine reasons that unions had given behind their calls for a special congress.

"Eight or nine of Cosatu affiliates have made a request for a special congress. I can say to you without a doubt, that ... there is no affiliate that has stated the reason for the congress to be about the general secretary of Cosatu."

He said Cosatu had not budgeted for a special congress.

The congress would not cost less than R12m for the estimated 3 500 delegates who would attend if it was called, Dlamini said.

Vavi has been placed on special leave pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing into an affair he had with a junior employee.

The federation's central executive committee (CEC) has asked Dlamini to report on the feasibility of convening the special congress.

Dlamini, who was attending an SA Communist Party rally in Folweni, said that he had not made any decision on whether to hold a special congress.

"The constitution of Cosatu gives powers to the president to apply his mind on these matters. I will apply my mind."

While he told journalists that Vavi had never featured as a reason for affiliates to call for the special congress he told those at the rally that he had warned "comrades" to "avoid discussing matters by a proxy".

He said that they should not give one reason for the conference when in fact there was another reason.

Dlamini  did not specify which "comrades" or unions he was referring to. He admitted that the federation had problems.

"It is not difficult for us to deny it. We do have challenges as an organisation," he said.

The Sunday Independent reported that according to Cosatu's constitution, the federation president must call for a special congress if no less than a third of affiliates in good standing submit a written request or if the CEC passes a resolution calling for such a meeting.

If the president fails to call a special congress, the CEC is empowered to nominate a convenor.

The newspaper said Dlamini would need to report back to the CEC on the special congress in November.

SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande said that any attempts to divide Cosatu were "counter-revolutionary".

He urged all communists to "rally behind a united Cosatu".

"To us as the communist party we respect the collective leadership of the federation as a whole," Nzimande said.

He told those attending the rally that there were suspicions that some union leaders were considering leaving Cosatu.

He did not elaborate further.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  s'dumo dlamini  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  blade nzimande  |  politics

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