Cosatu condemns threats against Vavi

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IOL bus apr16 Sidumo Dlamini

Independent Newspapers

Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini. File photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

Johannesburg - Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini on Wednesday condemned those who threatened to “dump” general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi if he campaigned for the ANC.

“I will defend my GS,” he told reporters in Johannesburg.

“We have condemned any insinuation that if he campaigns for the ANC he will be dumped... he can't be dumped.”

Dlamini said the Congress of SA Trade Unions had met Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim, who distanced himself and the metalworkers union from the threats.

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), a strong ally of Vavi, has resolved not to support the ANC in this year's election.

Vavi returned to work at Cosatu last week after eight months of being on suspension.

This followed the High Court in Johannesburg's ruling setting aside his suspension.

Dlamini dismissed claims that Vavi was avoiding appearing with Cosatu national office bearers at public engagements and press briefings.

He was speaking at a joint press briefing by Cosatu and the SA Communist Party after a meeting between the two alliance partners.

Dlamini, deputy general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali, and first deputy president Tyotyo James were present at the briefing, representing Cosatu. Vavi was not.

Dlamini said Vavi was ill and that was the only reason he was not present.

Vavi was back to doing the trade union federation's work and campaigning for the African National Congress.

“He is campaigning for the ANC. I'm sure you read his latest pronouncements in support of the ANC. Cosatu wants a decisive victory of the ANC come May 7.”

Dlamini said Vavi would participate in Cosatu's election campaign for the ANC as all national office bearers were expected to.

It was expected that Cosatu would suspend Vavi again at its special central executive committee the day after his return last week.

However, ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa managed to broker a “ceasefire” within Cosatu.

The intervention by the ANC was discussed at the meeting between Cosatu and the SACP.

SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande on Wednesday said his party welcomed the intervention.

“We don't believe the ANC is intervening because of the elections... 1/8but 3/8 if it was, what's wrong with that?” he asked.

“It's not something we should be ashamed of.”

Dlamini said the intervention by the ANC was ongoing and he asked people to give it a chance.

“We do not intend to have a conversation in public about this,” he said.

“Wait for us to give you feedback.”

Sapa


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