Pro-Vavi unions call cri­sis meet­ings

Al­lies vow to fight af­ter spe­cial congress re­jected

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - CRAIG DODDS

THE al­lies of sus­pended Cosatu gen­eral sec­re­tary Zwelinz­ima Vavi are lick­ing their wounds af­ter the fed­er­a­tion re­jected their call for a spe­cial na­tional congress, but they have vowed to re­spond.

Fol­low­ing a de­ci­sion by me­tal­work­ers’ union Numsa, Vavi’s most vo­cal backer and the big­gest Cosatu af­fil­i­ate, to con­vene a meet­ing of its cen­tral com­mit­tee in re­sponse to the fed­er­a­tion’s launch­ing of a probe into its con­duct, the Food and Al­lied Work­ers Union (Fawu) said yes­ter­day it would hold an ur­gent meet­ing of its na­tional of­fice-bear­ers tomorrow.

It had tried to get Vavi to ad­dress a con­fer­ence it was hold­ing in Joburg this weekend “as an elected gen­eral sec­re­tary of Cosatu”, in de­fi­ance of his sus­pen­sion over his sex­ual li­ai­son with a sub­or­di­nate, but had been un­able to find him.

Vavi is due to speak at a Numsa re­gional congress in Dur­ban this morn­ing, a move sure to anger the Cosatu of­fi­cials who sus­pended him.

It emerged af­ter a meet­ing of the fed­er­a­tion’s cen­tral ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee this week that another in­ves­ti­ga­tion, on top of the probes into the sex scan­dal and al­leged fi­nan­cial ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the sale of Cosatu House, had been launched into pri­vate travel ex­penses of Vavi for which Cosatu al­legedly footed the bill.

Cosatu also con­firmed it would not be hold­ing the spe­cial congress sought by Vavi’s back­ers this year, putting on hold any hopes the congress could be used to re­in­state Vavi and top­ple Cosatu pres­i­dent S’dumo Dlamini.

Numsa said in re­sponse its cen­tral com­mit­tee would meet to re­port on the Cosatu probe of its con­duct, the fail­ure to con­vene the spe­cial na­tional congress and the fail­ure to deal with me­dia leaks, among oth­ers.

Numsa is due to hold its own spe­cial na­tional congress early next month, where it will de­cide whether or not to with­draw its sup­port for the ANC in the com­ing elec­tions and pos­si­bly even de­cide to split from Cosatu.

Numsa com­plained the ANC had not in­volved its al­liance part­ners in its elec­tion man­i­festo process, in­stead hold­ing pub­lic man­i­festo fo­rums in which the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Plan, de­spised by Numsa, was “said to fea­ture promi­nently”.

“The cen­tral com­mit­tee con­sid­ered the treat­ment of the ANC’s al­liance part­ners, in par­tic­u­lar Cosatu, as noth­ing but con­tempt,” said Numsa gen­eral sec­re­tary Irvin Jim.

HOT IS­SUE: Zwelinz­ima Vavi is at the cen­tre of a dis­pute.

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