Vavi: Another appeal to Cosatu would be ‘a complete farce’

2015-11-19 15:44
Zwelinzima Vavi

Zwelinzima Vavi (Elizabeth Sejake/City Press)

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Former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says he will not be making an appeal for his reinstatement to the upcoming Cosatu national congress, which starts on Monday.

Vavi said at a media briefing today that he had anticipated that he would be given an opportunity to appeal at the special national congress in July.

This did not happen, he said.

“Just as in all other interventions to save the federation from imploding, my appeal was defeated by the faction enjoying a majority and the Cosatu central executive committee,” said Vavi.

He said leaders of the “faction” had publicly stated their mission to “surgically” remove him and his backers, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa.

Cosatu expelled Numsa in November last year and Vavi in March this year.

Numsa had adopted a position at its special congress in December 2013 that it would not support the ANC’s 2014 general elections campaign, placing it in conflict with Cosatu’s expected duty as an alliance partner of the ANC.

The union supported the formation of a united front and a possible socialist worker party or movement that would contest future elections.

Numsa had also declared that it was going to recruit workers in other sectors like mining, which is the space reserved for the National Union of Mineworkers in terms of Cosatu’s principles.

In July Cosatu accepted metal workers’ union Limusa – led by former Numsa president Cedric Gina – within its ranks as a replacement to Numsa.

Vavi said today that his conscience could not allow him to accept the expulsion of Numsa’s 340 000 workers.

“Dismissing workers en masse from the federation I know they love and have built is simply wrong,” he said.

He said he could also not find any reserves in his conscience to implement the decision to bring Limusa under the Cosatu fold.

“This is why I have been dismissed – for my refusal to accept and imposed ‘business as usual,’ after a decision by the majority of the leadership whose intention was to divide every union and create a precedent that meant that from now on all our differences will be solved by mass dismissal of workers,” said Vavi.

He said his right to appeal had been violated because Cosatu’s special congress in July discussed his and Numsa’s cases in their absence and processes leading to the event were manipulated.

“From the outset the special national congress was manipulated to prevent any challenge to the leadership’s factional views,” said Vavi.

He said an appeal to the upcoming national conference would be “a complete farce”.
Read more on:    cosatu  |  zwelinzima vavi

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