Cosatu putting internal battles on hold

2014-05-29 21:36
Zwelinzima Vavi (Picture: Beeld)

Zwelinzima Vavi (Picture: Beeld)

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Johannesburg - Internal battles within Cosatu have been put on hold, general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Thursday.

"There is a need for a cessation of hostilities and this means all affiliates and all leaders of the federation and members should stop all activities which will militate against the achievement of [unity]," he told reporters in Johannesburg.

"The CEC recognises that at the centre of the divisions are political and ideological differences."

This meant a court challenge by some Cosatu affiliates insisting on a special national congress had been suspended as well as internal disciplinary processes against Vavi himself.

Vavi was briefing reporters after a three-day meeting of Cosatu's central executive committee (CEC).

He said though the trade union federation was working on resolving internal issues it would still continue to do its work.

"Cosatu in the meantime does not go into some hiatus," Vavi said.

"Cosatu remains, it has policies that have been developed over its 29 years of existence, more importantly it has policies which are emerging from this previous congress."

Thursday was the first time Vavi had joined his fellow Cosatu national office bearers since he returned to work after an eight-month suspension.

He was placed on special leave in August last year after he admitted to having an affair with a junior employee.

The ANC stepped in, in April, just after Vavi's return to work to broker a cease-fire between the trade union federation, Vavi, and some affiliates.

Among those affiliates was the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), who along with seven other unions, lodged a court challenge after Cosatu denied their request to hold a special national congress.

The unions wanted to elect a new Cosatu leadership.

Numsa and Cosatu had been at loggerheads since Vavi was suspended.

Finding a resolution

Cosatu on Thursday said Numsa had committed itself to the resolutions taken at the CEC meeting.

Numsa was not immediately available for comment.

Vavi said it was decided that the ANC task team, led by deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, would finish its work in the next four weeks.

The team had met 12 Cosatu affiliates and still had another seven to meet. It would also hold a two-day meeting with Cosatu's national office bearers.

It was agreed that the ANC task team would address leadership issues in Cosatu.

"The ANC should address the leadership question, including choosing of leaders, deployment of leaders, [and] personalities in leadership that could compromise unity," he said.

"The [ANC] should include addressing governance issues such as disciplinary processes under way... as well as the call for a special national congress."

Once the ANC had spoken to all unions and the Cosatu leadership, it would make recommendations on how matters could be resolved.

Cosatu's second deputy president Zingiswa Losi said once the ANC handed over the final report it would be tabled at the CEC for discussion.

"We will have to debate it," she said.

"They [the recommendations] cannot be binding until the CEC discusses them."

Vavi pointed out that the ANC process was a legal one.

"It's a political process, hopefully that will help us move in a different direction."

Read more on:    cosatu  |  anc  |  numsa  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  johannesburg  |  politics

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