‘Atmosphere of factionalism in Cosatu’

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IOL pic apr7 vavi hand on face file Independent Newspapers Zwelinzima Vavi. File picture: Antoine de Ras

Johannesburg - Divisions in Cosatu have evolved and created an atmosphere of factionalism, general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Thursday.

“The CEC recognises that at the centre of the divisions are political and ideological differences,” he told reporters in Johannesburg.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions had discussed this at length and took a number of decisions on how to manage the situation.

This included allowing the African National Congress task team, formed to help sort out problems in the trade union federation, to continue its work.

Vavi was addressing media after a three-day central executive committee meeting held in Johannesburg.

This was the first time the general secretary had attended a press briefing with his fellow national office bearers since returning to work after an eight-month suspension.

Vavi said Cosatu agreed that the ANC task team should finalise its work in the next four weeks.

Just after Vavi returned to work in April, a special CEC was held where the task team brokered a ceasefire between the trade union federation, Vavi, and some affiliates.

Vavi said the CEC had received a report from the ANC task team during the three-day meeting.

“(The CEC) unanimously agreed that there should be an adherence to Cosatu's principles.

“The package to be developed by the ANC should address the leadership question, including choosing of leaders, deployment of leaders, personalities in leadership that could compromise unity,” he said.

It was also decided that the ANC package should address governance issues, such as disciplinary processes under way or in the future, and the call for a special national congress.

Vavi himself is facing internal disciplinary processes for having an affair with a junior employee, among other things.

Cosatu affiliate unions, who supported Vavi, have been calling for a special national congress. The unions want to elect new leadership. - Sapa

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