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Johannesburg - The Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) is supporting the call for the removal of Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini, the union said on Monday.
This followed comments made by Dlamini after a sexual harassment grievance against Congress of SA Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was withdrawn, Fawu said in a statement.
“Upon the conclusion, rather the withdrawal, of the grievance the president of Cosatu shockingly, then expressed opinions that 'damage was done to Cosatu' and that 'there is a disrepute done to Cosatu'.
“As Fawu, we believe the president of Cosatu has passed a guilty verdict on Zwelinzima Vavi and there is no damage to Cosatu. If anything there could be a redeemable dent to individuals involved,” the union said.
On Friday, Cosatu's biggest affiliate the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) said it had lost confidence in Dlamini and that the trade union federation's president was not representing all Cosatu affiliates.
Cosatu announced on Thursday that Vavi had been put on special leave pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing relating to an affair he had with a junior Cosatu employee.
Last month, a junior Cosatu employee accused Vavi of rape. He admitted to having a consensual affair with her. The woman subsequently withdrew a sexual harassment complaint against him.
Fawu said the “indiscretion” by Vavi had been used to try silence the usually outspoken general secretary.
“This rushed miscarriage of justice was regarded as a less nasty way of finishing the man off,” said Fawu.
The union said it had accepted Vavi's public apology.
It wanted Vavi to resume his duties as general secretary immediately.
On Friday, Vavi vowed to challenge his suspension from the trade federation. He said he had instructed his lawyers to do so.