Vavi will remain in Cosatu, for now

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini has conceded to a call by eight Cosatu unions for a special national congress. 

A special central executive committee (CEC) meeting on Wednesday heard his report on the feasibility of holding the congress and it resolved that it would be called early next year. 

The call for a special national congress came up as a result of divisions plaguing the organisation. Expelled metalworkers union Numsa spearheaded the call for the special congress and ithey repeatedly said its leaders would use the congress to “get rid” of Dlamini and those loyal to him.

The meeting on Wednesday was boycotted by seven unions that stood in solidarity with Numsa. The South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union, the South African State and Allied Workers Union, the Public and Allied Workers Union of South Africa, the Food and Allied Workers Union, the South African Football Players Union, the Democratic Nurses Organisation of South Africa and the Communications Workers Union have made an unequivocal call for the special congress as a remedy to Cosatu’s paralysis. 

Vavi to remain in his position
An insider at the meeting said Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi would remain at the helm of the organisation and would not be removed. As things stand, he will remain in his position until his term is over next year. Cosatu’s five national office bearers, sans Vavi, would decide “what processes” Vavi would be subjected to.    

Vavi holds a precarious position in the trade union federation because he publicly denounced a decision to expel Numsa earlier this month. He also faces nine charges including his affair with a subordinate. 

Disciplinary action
A source at the meeting said a political discussion may resolve the tension on some issues, but on other issues Vavi may still face disciplinary action. “I think they just wanted things to calm down after the storm of Numsa’s expulsion,” the source said. 

The Mail & Guardian reported last Friday, November 14,  that Vavi threatened to resign from Cosatu if Numsa’s expulsion is not reversed. The meeting further decided that Cosatu’s second deputy president, Zingiswa Losi, remains in her position until her term expires next year. This was after contention was spurred when she resigned from Numsa, where she served as a shop steward, and moved to police union Popcru. 

According to the Cosatu constitution, office bearers were required to be a shop steward of a Cosatu affiliate.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Cosatu proposes interventions to tackle Covid-19 procurement graft

In light of irregular spending on Covid-19 procurement, Cosatu recommends that politically connected people be barred from doing business with the state

Jobs at stake as financial losses hit ArcelorMittal

South Africa’s steel producer’s earnings dropped in the first quarter of 2020 because of low demand and a lacklustre economy, exacerbated by the Covid-19 lockdown

Workers battle for UIF payouts

Snarl-ups at the Unemployment Insurance Fund and bosses not assisting employees worsens people’s suffering

Mboweni to further tighten the belt in his budget

The finance minister will cut departments’ allocations according to their cloth as one measure, and savings will have been made from underspend during the lockdown

Fawu fires deputy general secretary. Again.

Moloko Phakedi plans to fight the decision. Again. The Food and Allied Workers Union says it will continue its inquiry into the R19-million written off in the union’s investment wing

Invisible threat to workers’ rights

Nearly half of all workplaces inspected by the department of labour found to be unsafe

Vaccine trial results due in December

If successful, it will then have to be manufactured and distributed

White men still rule and earn more

Women and black people occupy only a few seats at the JSE table, the latest PwC report has found

The PPE scandal that the Treasury hasn’t touched

Many government officials have been talking tough about dealing with rampant corruption in PPE procurement but the majority won't even release names of who has benefited from the R10-billion spend

ANC still at odds over how to tackle leaders facing...

The ANC’s top six has been mandated to work closely with its integrity committee to tackle claims of corruption against senior party members

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday