Cosatu meets to elect acting leader

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) started a three-day meeting on Monday to elect an acting president, following the axing of Willy Madisha over a missing donation scandal in February.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said the central executive committee meeting started at Cosatu house in Johannesburg on Monday morning.

Issues on the agenda include electing an acting president, the political situation in the aftermath of the ruling party’s Polokwane congress, preparations for next year’s elections, the food and electricity crisis and recent xenophobic violence.

Ousted Cosatu president Willy Madisha, said to be a close ally of President Thabo Mbeki, was axed in February, shortly after Jacob Zuma was elected president of the African National Congress at Polokwane in December.

Madisha’s exit came after Malawian businessman Charles Modise claimed to have made a R500 000 donation to the South African Communist Party.

He said he gave the money in black plastic bags to Madisha, who in turn said he handed the cash over to SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande. But the latter said he never received the money.

S’dumo Dlamini, first vice-president of Cosatu, is expected to be elected as acting president.

On the weekend, Dlamini said Cosatu would at this week’s meeting endorse calls for Mbeki to step down.

Craven said a press conference would be held on Thursday morning. - Sapa

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