Sadtu in the Eastern Cape has threatened to withhold up to R2-million in membership subscriptions from Cosatu in protest against the suspension of head Zwelinzima Vavi, the City Press reported on Sunday.
"We are preparing to withdraw our subscriptions. Why should we continue paying when the leaders don't want to listen to us? This is our money," the South African Democratic Teachers' Union Kokstad region secretary Ntombozuko Maqhashalala told the newspaper.
The union's provincial members are also unhappy about the suspension of their boss Thobile Ntola.
Sadtu's Eastern Cape secretary Mncekeleli Ndongeni told the newspaper that the union had 50 000 members in the province.
He said the members had a right to express their views: "If regions and members say they want to withdraw their monthly subscriptions, we can't stand in their way."
Sadtu branch secretary for the Mqanduli eastern region, Wandile Ngceba, told the newspaper that members believed that Vavi and Ntola were "victims of a political purge … We are going to put pressure until they are back in their positions".
This week, Cosatu acting general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali criticised those he deemed as undermining the trade union federation's internal processes. Both Vavi and Ntola were suspended in August last year.
Vavi was suspended following revelations of a sexual relationship with a junior staffer, who initially accused him of rape but did not lay a charge with police. He also stands accused of a raft of allegations relating to the sale of Cosatu's old headquarters and the purchase of its new building.
Ntola's suspension was reportedly due to him giving Vavi – who was suspended at that stage – a platform to address Sadtu members in the Eastern Cape. – Sapa