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Durban - Cosatu in KwaZulu-Natal has dismissed reports suggesting that the labour federation was deeply divided at the top.
“When an organisation is unable to convene its meetings and gets its meetings disrupted or is unable to execute its mandate, only then can you speak of divisions. We have not reached that stage at Cosatu,” said provincial secretary Zet Luzipo.
He said this in reaction to reports that continue to surface alleging a fallout between Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini and Zwelinzima Vavi, the general secretary.
It has been reported that a faction, allegedly aligned to Dlamini, wants to oust Vavi from his post, partly because of the latter’s strong criticism of the ANC.
This faction has allegedly been dishing out dirt on Vavi, including claims of financial impropriety and nepotism.
Some affiliates apparently want Vavi investigated for irregularities relating to the sale of Cosatu’s old building in Johannesburg.
Allegations are that Vavi blocked a bid - by Cosatu affiliate Popcru - to purchase the building for R15 million, but sold it to a company for R10m.
Vavi has denied any wrongdoing and offered to resign should there be any substance to the allegations.
The Sunday Independent reported that Vavi’s step-daughter was employed by a company that provides services to Cosatu.
In response, Vavi told the paper that he had no knowledge of where his step-daughter worked as she had moved out of his house about two years ago, following a breakdown in their relationship.
Some affiliates have allegedly also expressed having no confidence in Vavi.
Cosatu KZN has refused to take sides, saying in a statement it has “full confidence in all Cosatu office bearers under the leadership of the president and the general secretary”.
Luzipo said some of the reports, especially those alleging an investigation had been launched against Vavi, were part of a disinformation campaign. He said these allegations were part of a campaign to dent the image of Cosatu, which he said remained a respected moral authority.
He said while there might be differences of opinions and even competition, there were no divisions in Cosatu.
It is expected that some of the problems would be experienced as they came with the growth of the organisation, which now boasts about 2 million members, he said.
But Luzipo would not be drawn into saying who he thought was leading the campaign to discredit Cosatu leaders.
“For a fighting federation such as ours, which has proven a thorn to the capitalist classes, these attacks are expected and we have seen them in the past and we are most likely to see more of them in the future.”
He said added that the challenges facing Cosatu should not be divorced from the challenges facing its affiliates, such as Satawu and NUM.