Cosatu's Madisha given marching orders

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) axed Willie Madisha as its president on Wednesday over his involvement in a missing donation scandal.

This comes after a commission probing the matter presented its findings and recommendations to Cosatu’s central executive committee (CEC) at its meeting this week, said spokesperson Patrick Craven.

“The CEC has accepted the commission’s findings and recommendations. The CEC unanimously resolved to remove Willy Madisha as president of Cosatu ... An acting president will be elected at next CEC in May 2008,” he said in a statement.

Craven said Cosatu had decided to release the commission of inquiry’s report publicly.

This, he said, was “in light of the misrepresentation by some in the media and unauthorised sources in the federation which all combined to misinform the public about the real facts behind the establishment of the commission and its terms of reference.”

Madisha voluntarily stepped down as Cosatu president in October when the probe started into the missing R500 000 donation.

“I’ve taken leave as the president of Cosatu to allow the investigation to continue without my interference and I’m waiting to be called,” he said at the time.

However, recent reports have suggested that his fate was already sealed.

“His expulsion will signal the intensification of a campaign to rid Cosatu of leaders who backed President Thabo Mbeki’s failed bid for a third-term as ANC leader,” City Press reported on Saturday.

Madisha was suspended as president of the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) in December for apparently telling members not to vote for the then deputy president of the African National Congress Jacob Zuma at the party’s national conference that month.
Zuma was elected president at the conference.

Malawian businessman Charles Modise laid a complaint against the South African Communist Party (SACP) last year in connection with a R500 000 donation he claimed to have made to the party in 2002.

He claimed he gave the money to Madisha, who in turn swore he delivered the money to SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande.

However, Nzimande denied ever receiving the money. - Sapa

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