The affordable education loan option
By Babalo Ndenze, Lebogang Seale and Baldwin Ndaba
Johannesburg - Suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi’s supporters have threatened an “internal revolt” similar to the one by President Jacob Zuma at the ANC’s 2005 national general council.
A revolt by ordinary ANC delegates to the council, held at the University of the Pretoria, forced the then ANC leadership under Thabo Mbeki to reinstate Zuma, who had “voluntarily” stepped down from all leadership positions.
In what was largely seen as a forced decision, the then ANC deputy president had vacated his leadership positions pending the outcome of his rape case.
On Thursday, Vavi’s allies reminded the embattled general secretary’s detractors that Cosatu functioned according to a principle of “democratic centralism”.
In terms of this principle, the decisions of the majority should be respected by all.
They reiterated that Vavi, like the rest of the federation’s top six officials, had been re-elected unopposed at the 11th Cosatu national conference in Midrand last year.
A national executive committee member of teacher union Sadtu said an “internal revolt” could not be ruled out if Cosatu regions and provinces were not happy with the decision of the federation’s central executive committee (CEC).
On Tuesday, the committee suspended Vavi for allegedly bringing Cosatu into disrepute and violating its recruitment policy.
The sanction relates to Vavi’s sexual encounter with a junior employee at Cosatu’s offices in Joburg. The employee has also been suspended and charged.
The CEC also resolved to haul the duo before a disciplinary committee, to be chaired by an independent panel.
The Sadtu member insisted that Vavi’s rivals, led by Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini, should respect the principle of “democratic centralism”.
“Especially in a matter of significant nature like this one. Depending on which side you choose, this could lead to an internal revolt like when JZ was suspended,” he said.
He reminded Vavi’s detractors that ANC members who were unhappy with Zuma’s suspension had “reclaimed their rights”.
A distraught Vavi on Thursday appeared to grudgingly accept his fate. “What can I say or do?” he said, declining to comment further.
However, he was a little more outspoken on social media. Vavi tweeted: “I committed an error & I have profusely apologized to every one hurt by my indiscretion. That was a right thing to do”.
He later added: “I am relieved so many have accepted that apology and recognize that some remain unforgiving. Know others celebrating and rubbing salt.”