Johannesburg - Cosatu's central executive committee (CEC) has declined a request by nine affiliates for a special national congress (SNC).

“The CEC raised problems which a SNC would cause affiliates, including financial constraints, a full programme of other events and election work,” acting general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali told reporters in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

“In this context, the meeting decided to decline the request for a SNC.”

The Congress of SA Trade Unions held a special CEC on Monday.

Nine Cosatu affiliates called for the reinstatement of suspended general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and for a special congress to be held.

Vavi was suspended last year after he admitted to having an affair with a junior employee. The affiliates believed the disciplinary process instituted against Vavi was unjust.

They wanted the congress to be held by the end of March and a new Cosatu leadership elected. The unions threatened to take Cosatu to court if it did not hold the congress.

The affiliates are the Communication Workers Union, the Democratic Nurses Union of SA, the Food and Allied Workers Union, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA, the Public and Allied Workers Union of SA, the SA Commercial and Catering Workers Union, the SA Football Players Union, the SA Municipal Workers Union, and the SA State and Allied Workers Union.

On Monday, four regional offices of the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood, and Allied Workers Union threw their weight behind the call for Vavi's reinstatement.

Ntshalintshali on Tuesday said the nine affiliated unions did not attend the CEC meeting.