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Vavi judgment due

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iol news pic Vavi banner at court

SAPA

A man walks past a banner in support of suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, who returned to the High Court in Johannesburg to challenge his suspension. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Johannesburg - Judgment on the bid by Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi to have his suspension set aside is expected to be delivered by the High Court in Johannesburg on Friday.

Deputy Judge President Phineas Mojapelo reserved judgment last week after hearing argument from counsel for Vavi, Numsa, and the Congress of SA Trade Unions.

Vavi took to Twitter on Thursday saying he would not be at the judgment because his daughter had been in an accident in Queenstown, Eastern Cape.

“Judgment on my case will be tomorrow morning at 10:00 Court 11 C. But I have to be in Queenstown for my daughter,” he wrote.

Vavi, National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) general secretary Irvin Jim and his deputy Karl Cloete attended court proceedings last week, as did Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini and acting general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali.

In August last year, Cosatu said Vavi had been put on special leave pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing relating to his affair with a junior employee.

In July, the employee accused him of rape. He said they had an affair. The woman subsequently withdrew a sexual harassment complaint against him.

Following Vavi's suspension Numsa, an ally of his, lodged an application in the high court challenging the decision.

Vavi then lodged papers to be added as an applicant in Numsa's challenge. In these, he asks the court to grant him an interim order interdicting and restraining Cosatu from enforcing any decision taken at its central executive committee (CEC) meeting in August.

He wants final relief to review and set aside the decision to suspend him and institute disciplinary proceedings.

Legal teams for Vavi and Numsa argued that delegates at the CEC meeting on August 14 last year had not voted on whether Vavi should be suspended. Instead the decision was made by a side meeting of presidents and general secretaries.

Karel Tipp, SC, for Cosatu, argued that a decision was taken on a majority, as was a long standing practice by the trade union federation.

He had explained that eight of the 16 Cosatu affiliates in good standing were for the suspension, while eight were against it or non-committal.

Under Cosatu's constitution the CEC had the power to dismiss or suspend the general secretary.

Tipp said that assuming the number of delegates within those eight affiliates in support of the suspension all agreed, this would mean that there was a majority and a vote was not needed.

Paul Kennedy, SC, for Vavi, disagreed, saying this was not democratic.

Sapa


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