Numsa and Vavi face suspension

2014-04-06 19:53
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Durban - Both Cosatu's newly reinstated secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi and Numsa could find themselves suspended from the federation while Sadtu's suspended president believes he will be fired within the week.

This emerged at a National Union of Metal Workers of SA shopstewards council at the Coastlands Hotel in Durban on Sunday where riot police had to be called in to keep pro-Vavi and anti-Vavi factions apart.

Referring to a Cosatu central executive committee (CEC) meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Numsa deputy president Karl Cloete said: "On Tuesday they will say let us continue with the disciplinary charges against Zwelinzima Vavi."

He said that the current office bearers of Cosatu should be held accountable for wasting workers' money on hiring expensive lawyers to fight against Vavi's reinstatement.

Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) president Dorothy Matebeni told the meeting that there were several items on the CEC agenda, including Numsa's suspension from Cosatu.

Sadtu president Thobile Ntola told the meeting: "I have no doubt that within a week I will be fired."

He described the upcoming CEC as "a war" for the survival of Cosatu.

He said it was "unfortunate" that members of his union had attempted to disrupt the shopstewards council.

Earlier, when Numsa members along with other invited affiliates arrived at the hotel, they found it had also been booked by Cosatu affiliate the SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu).

On both sides, numerous members were singing, with some carrying umbrellas and sticks while others wore T-shirts with President Jacob Zuma's image.

Denosa KwaZulu-Natal secretary Cassim Lekhoati could also be seen negotiating in a bid to secure alternative venues for the two different groups.

A police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said that one venue at the hotel had been booked about three weeks previously by Numsa, while another venue at the hotel was booked by Sadtu.

It is understood that the hotel inadvertently opened the Numsa-booked venue to Sadtu.

Sadtu's Durban South Regional secretary Sva Xulu said: "We were having a Sadtu meeting upstairs when we became aware that there are other Cosatu members here. Constitutionally we have a right to attend a Cosatu meeting."

Police eventually managed to persuade the Numsa-led group to hold their meeting on the third floor conference venue while the Sadtu-led group remained on the second floor.

At the Numsa-led group, members of the Food and Allied Workers Union, the SA Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union and Denosa were seen.

There were about 30 police officers present at the hotel. The meeting had been due to start at 10:00 but only kicked off at midday.

His daughter was injured in a car accident in the Eastern Cape on Thursday and Ntola told the meeting that Vavi was at an East London hospital where his daughter was expected to undergo surgery.

In August last year, Cosatu said Vavi had been put on special leave pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing relating to his affair with a junior employee.

In July, the employee accused him of rape. He said they had an affair. The woman subsequently withdrew a sexual harassment complaint against him.

Following Vavi's suspension Numsa, an ally of his, lodged an application in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg challenging the decision.

On Friday, the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg set aside Vavi's suspension.

Cosatu had been split between affiliates supporting Vavi and those supporting his suspension.

Read more on:    sadtu  |  cosatu  |  numsa  |  zwelenzima vavi

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