Vavi suspended - Numsa

2013-08-15 10:26
Zwelinzima Vavi (File, Sapa)

Zwelinzima Vavi (File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Numsa, a strong ally of Zwelinzima Vavi, confirmed on Thursday that the Cosatu general secretary has been suspended, while an official statement from the trade union federation was still awaited.

"He [Vavi] was suspended," National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) general secretary Irvin Jim said.

"Numsa is feeling very bad about what has happened."

Reports on Thursday said Vavi had been put on "special leave" following a Congress of SA Trade Unions special central executive committee (CEC) meeting on Wednesday.

Craven can’t confirm

Jim said special leave and suspension were "the same thing".

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said he could not confirm the reports of Vavi's suspension, but that a CEC statement would be released later.

Last month, a junior employee at Cosatu accused Vavi of rape. He admitted to having a consensual affair with her. The woman subsequently withdrew a sexual harassment complaint against him.

The CEC met in Johannesburg on Wednesday to decide on possible sanctions against Vavi for the affair.
On Thursday, Jim said the CEC meeting was held "unconstitutionally".

"We went into that meeting explaining... [that] unless they give us the reasons why the meeting was convened we would not be in a position to declare and secure a mandate from our members.

"We were in a meeting that was wrongly constituted, we said so in the meeting."

He said Cosatu could not just hold meetings when it felt like it - it needed a mandate from its members.

On Monday, Numsa reportedly said it would propose that the union withdraw its subscription from Cosatu if the trade union federation failed to cancel Wednesday's meeting. Numsa's subscription to Cosatu was thought to be about R80 000 a month.

‘I profusely apologise’

Jim on Thursday said Numsa was "reflecting" on what happened at the CEC meeting before making a decision.

Meanwhile, Vavi took to social networking site Twitter to thank people for their support.

"I committed an error & have profusely apologised to everyone hurt by my indiscretion. That was a right thing to do," he wrote.

"I am relieved so many have accepted that apology and recognise that some remain unforgiving. Know others celebrating and rubbing salt."

In a third tweet he wrote: "Thank you for the support - will say more later."

Read more on:    cosatu  |  numsa strike  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  irvin jim

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