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Johannesburg - Attempts to cause divisions in Cosatu will fail, the trade union federation's president S’dumo Dlamini said on Friday.
“You must know that we will defend Cosatu from both organisational and ideological threats, whether such threats are coming from within or outside or own ranks,” he said at the SA Democratic Teachers' Union's national general council in Kempton Park.
“If you work to undermine Cosatu, yet you are Cosatu yourself, who do you work for?”
In August, the Congress of SA Trade Unions put its general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi on special leave pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing, after he admitted to having an affair with a colleague.
The National Union of Metalworkers of SA has brought a high court application to have the suspension overturned.
The union has also reportedly threatened to break away from Cosatu.
Dlamini said Cosatu had been quiet about internal matters for some time.
“We are not going to be quiet anymore because the danger is that members get confused. You (unions) give people platforms to undermine organisational decisions. Stop that.”
He said it was hard to be quiet when members were lying about the union federation.
“In the last CEC (central executive committee) we spent nearly three hours trying to adopt an agenda,” Dlamini said.
“That CEC endorsed all the decisions of the previous special CEC (which decided on Vavi's suspension), which we are still trying to defend in court.”
He said workers were suffering while unions spent money in court on organisational matters in Cosatu.
Vavi previously said one of the reasons he was challenging the suspension was that Dlamini had circulated an “intelligence report” that aimed to destroy him.
Dlamini said on Friday the delay in the last CEC was because unions wanted a motion of no confidence in him to be a part of the agenda, because of the claims surrounding the report.
“I told them to put it (on the agenda) but then we will prove to you the president did not distribute the document. The one who distributed the document is the one crying foul.”
He said some “comrades” previously tried to march to Cosatu house to undermine the “federation's decisions”.
“How do you march to yourself, because Cosatu is yourself?”
Dlamini said leaders who criticised members of the SA Communist Party and Cosatu for serving on the African National Congress's national executive committee (NEC) were misleading members.
“Call us sell-outs, call us spineless. The truth is that we were all in the same basket (as nomininees for the NEC),” he said.
“The truth will set you free from the pocket of a person... it will set you free from being beholden to an individual. Go to the leaders and say why did you lie to me?”
He said Cosatu would hold a national protest against e-tolling and labour brokers from November 12 to 14.