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Johannesburg - Cosatu must be given the space to deal with problems facing the trade union federation, the ANC said on Thursday.
“The African National Congress has noted the decision of the central executive committee of the Congress of SA Trade Unions to grant special leave to their general secretary, comrade Zwelinzima Vavi... pending the outcome of a disciplinary process,” spokesman Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.
“The ANC respects the right of the federation to its internal processes to deal with all matters affecting it and thus the ANC will await the outcome of the disciplinary process to be instituted.”
Cosatu on Thursday announced it had placed Vavi on special leave following a central executive committee (CEC) meeting. This was after a junior Cosatu employee accused Vavi of rape last month. He admitted to having a consensual affair with her. The woman subsequently withdrew a sexual harassment complaint against him.
The CEC met in Johannesburg on Wednesday to decide on possible sanctions against Vavi. The ANC called on all those involved in the matter to respect the Cosatu's internal processes and refrain from discussing the matter in the public domain.
The Democratic Left said it expected that Cosatu would suspend Vavi.
“It is obvious that the rapid and determined way some in the CEC went about taking up this issue is part of the bigger campaign to rid Cosatu of Vavi's leadership,” it said in a statement.