Expel those destroying Cosatu: Nehawu

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

Johannesburg - Cosatu must expel those who are destroying the trade union federation, Nehawu said on Monday.

“It must surgically remove them, root and branch to allow itself space to begin a process of rebuilding itself and affiliates,” the union said in a veiled reference to Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and his ally Numsa.

“This includes responding to the pressing workplace issues of members who are the lifeblood of our federation as well as other socio-economic and political challenges.”

The National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) supported the decision of the Congress of SA Trade Unions to suspend Vavi.

Vavi returned to work on Monday after eight months of being on special leave. This was after the High Court in Johannesburg ruled on Friday that his suspension be put aside.

Vavi was put on special leave in August, pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing relating to his affair with a junior employee.

After the court ruling, Nehawu called on Cosatu to appeal against the judgment.

The union also called on the trade union federation to still hold Vavi accountable for his actions. Vavi is facing internal disciplinary processes.

Nehawu said: “Given the fact that the focus and energy of Cosatu continues to be consumed by efforts to defend itself against elements that are hell-bent on causing anarchy and to undermine it, Nehawu is now calling on our federation to act decisively to put an end to this debilitating state of internal instability.”

Cosatu is expected to hold a special central executive committee (CEC) meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The court judgment, the way forward and Numsa's role in the trade union federation is expected to be on the agenda.

Numsa and Cosatu have been at loggerheads since Vavi's suspension.

Numsa is also part of the nine Cosatu affiliates which were calling for a special national congress so that a new leadership could be elected.

The metalworkers' union has also written two letters to Cosatu.

In the first letter, the union called on Cosatu to hold a special national congress. This request was denied.

Numsa has said it will take the matter to court if a congress is not held.

In the second letter, Numsa requested that Tuesday's CEC be postponed.

However, Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven said the meeting would go ahead as planned.


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