Pro-Vavi unions call crisis meetings
Allies vow to fight after special congress rejected
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.