Johannesburg - Suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi is being persecuted because he has been the voice of the working class, Numsa president Andrew Chirwa said on Wednesday.
“To us, we shall never surrender Cosatu... (to those) who work day and night to ensure Cosatu is weakened... and there's no one to speak for the working class,” he told delegates at the National Union of Metalworkers' of SA's special national congress in Boksburg, on the East Rand.
“As part of us fighting for that Cosatu... we shall defend the general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, who has been isolated by the forces of darkness because he has been the voice of the working class.”
Chirwa said Numsa did not acknowledge Vavi's suspension.
The union, a Vavi ally, has brought a court application against the Congress of SA Trade Unions over Vavi's suspension.
Vavi was put on special leave for, among other things, having an affair with a junior Cosatu employee at its offices.
Vavi was given a rousing welcome when he arrived at the congress on Wednesday.
“How could you fire our general secretary? You did it because you hate him,” delegates sang in Zulu.
They danced and blew whistles.
Vavi is expected to address delegates on Wednesday night, after the Mtutuzeli Tom lecture.
Chirwa said Vavi would speak “after hours”. - Sapa