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Johannesburg - Influential politicians were using state intelligence services to help remove union leaders from their posts, trade union Numsa said on Friday.
Deputy general secretary Karl Cloete said the intelligence services were involved in the ongoing tussles at the Congress of SA Trade Unions.
“We are more certain that state apparatus, particularly the intelligence community, is centrally involved and used in the battles in Cosatu,” he said.
“We also have it on good authority that after dealing with (Zwelinzima) Vavi, the next person would be Numsa general secretary (Irvin Jim). The other person would be the Numsa president... “
He said there was an ongoing, well-orchestrated plot against trade unionists. Vavi, Cosatu's suspended Cosatu general secretary, was a victim.
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.
Jim said calls for Vavi to step down following his sex scandal were misplaced.
“There is no policy of Cosatu which deals with this issue. You can check the gender conduct policies of Cosatu, there is nothing.
“We are not saying Vavi should not be removed if workers want. We are not expecting him to stand down because we did not elect him, the workers elected him,” he said.
Jim said evidence of a politically orchestrated plot was that he had been followed and his smses intercepted.
Earlier, Jim said Numsa had lost confidence in Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini's leadership.
“He is basically not representing all Cosatu affiliates. It has nothing to do with the fact that we don’t like him and so forth,” Jim told reporters in Johannesburg.
“He has not demonstrated that he has got the interest of uniting the federation. From where we are sitting, if you look at our political posture as a federation, we did not emerge with anything from Mangaung.”
The ANC held its elective conference in Mangaung in December.
The National Union of Metalworkers of SA is the biggest trade union affiliated to Cosatu. Jim said Numsa did not recognise Cosatu's decision to suspend Vavi. He reiterated that the Cosatu central executive committee (CEC) meeting held on Wednesday was unconstitutional.
“Numsa does not recognise the decision of the unconstitutional CEC and is consulting its lawyers about this matter,” Jim said.
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.