We won’t entertain Vavi and Numsa issues – Cosatu

2015-07-09 13:38
Expelled Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: Gallo

Expelled Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: Gallo

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Cosatu leaders have vowed to crack the whip on disruptive members at the labour federation’s special national congress, and have suggested that some members had been paid to demand the reinstatement of expelled general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. 

Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini said security would be beefed up to ensure there were no disturbances by “any force from inside or outside the country”. 

“There shall be nothing that will succeed in disrupting the congress. We have put all measures [in place] to ensure workers are safe,” he said. 

Dlamini said members of one affiliate, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, and Vavi Vavi were “trotting the globe” to spread lies that unions in South Africa were imploding in an attempt to raise funds and pocket the money. 

“Others are in America to ask for money, not for Cosatu but for themselves,” he said 

Meanwhile, Cosatu acting general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said if the issue of Vavi and Numsa’s reinstatement was raised from the floor, it wouldn’t be entertained. 

Ntshantshali said it was only an ordinary congress sitting in four months’ time that could hear the matter. 

His sentiments were echoed by Cosatu second deputy president Zingiswa Losi, who said unruly delegates who did not respect that position would have to be thrown out of the conference venue. 

The two-day special congress would be held on Monday to deal with deep divisions that had, over the past three years, split Cosatu between those who supported Vavi and those who supported Dlamini. 

Before its expulsion late last year, Numsa and nine other affiliates made the call for the congress to discuss unity and elect leaders. But according to the agenda adopted by Cosatu, the only topics up for discussion were unity and cohesion. 

Cosatu also distributed a discussion document yesterday ahead of the congress. The document unpacked how the decision to expel Numsa and Vavi came about and the need to find a strategy to deal with leaders who clung on to power even when the time was ripe to vacate their positions. 

Ntshalintshali, who was set to replace Vavi, said it was a problem not only at Cosatu but across its affiliates. Vavi had occupied the secretariat position at Cosatu for more than a decade before he was expelled for contravening Cosatu’s constitution by, among others, having a sexual relationship with a junior employee.

Read more on:    zwelinzima vavi  |  cosatu congress

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