Cosatu union stand together for Vavi

By Drum Digital
28 January 2014

Nine Cosatu-affiliated unions are set to drum up more support for suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi on Wednesday.

The unions would brief media on the "long delayed" Cosatu special congress and the "unlawful" suspension and "unprocedural" disciplinary charges lodged against Vavi, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) said in a statement.

Led by Numsa in the call for the special congress, the other eight unions are the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu), the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu), the South African Catering Commercial and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu), the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa), the South African State and Allied Workers Union (Sasawu), the Communication Workers Union (CWU), the South African Football Players Union (Safpu) and the Public and Allied Workers Union of South Africa (Pawusa).

Vavi was suspended last year with reasons including bringing the federation into disrepute after he admitted to having an affair with a Cosatu employee. He is facing a disciplinary hearing.

Cosatu delivered a charge sheet to Vavi two weeks ago, which was then leaked to the Mail & Guardian newspaper.

The hearing would be chaired by top advocate, Wim Trengove SC, according to the newspaper.

The labour federation tabled nine charges against Vavi which included the recruitment and employment of the junior Cosatu employee without going through the relevant challenges, having a relationship with the Cosatu employee.

They also include an alleged failure by Vavi to supervise the employee's work performance which allegedly led to travel expenses amounting to R483,737 in 2012 and R778,624 in 2013 not accounted for.

Numsa, which had been backing Vavi and accusing Cosatu leadership of plotting to remove him permanently, took the labour federation to court to rescind and uplift Vavi's suspension.

Vavi also lodged papers to be added as an applicant in Numsa's challenge.

On Monday, Fawu secretary general Katishi Masemola called for Cosatu to reinstate Vavi.

Masemola said his union would hold a special national executive committee meeting in February to take stock of developments since the last national executive committee meeting which mandated national office-bearers to call for Vavi's reinstatement.

The failure to convene the special national congress and decide on the way forward would also be addressed, he said.


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