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Vavi won’t go back to a ‘hollowed out, branded’ Cosatu

On Wednesday Zwelinzima Vavi confirmed to News24: “Yes, [I will not appeal] unless there is a legitimate congress organised that will involve all those that have been purged.

“I’m not going to go to court, I’m not going to the CCMA … because I don’t want to go back into today’s Cosatu. In any case, I will be dismissed again for something else.”

Vavi was expelled from Cosatu at the end of March following his boycott of the trade union federation’s meetings.

This was in solidarity with the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), which was expelled from Cosatu in November last year for resolutions taken at its special congress in 2013. The resolutions included not supporting the ANC in the general elections.

Numsa and Cosatu had been at loggerheads since the federation suspended Vavi for having an affair with a junior employee, among other things.

Won’t go back
Vavi said on Wednesday that he did not want to be part of a trade union federation that seemed to accept widespread corruption.

“If we have to go back to today’s Cosatu, we will call a swimming pool a fire pool and we will not raise an issue about the state of corruption, we will not adopt a campaign for economic transformation, we will not take up the campaign that leaders go back to basics.

“We will not do any of the things that [the] last [Cosatu] congress said we must do. What’s the point of going back there?”

Vavi said going back to Cosatu now would mean compromising his integrity.

“I’ve built it for decades and I don’t want it compromised because I just want to hold a position … in an organisation that has been domesticated, hollowed out and branded so that it can no longer hold the leadership of the country to account.”

New union rumours
Vavi has been travelling around the country since his expulsion speaking to workers.

There is speculation that he and Numsa are looking to form a new trade union federation in competition with Cosatu.

Vavi said he was enjoying the freedom to go out and talk about the issues he had been stopped from talking about.

He could speak freely now without worrying that he would be taken to task over it.

“I speak out against any matter. I am enjoying the freedom.” – News24

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