A man walks past a banner in support of suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, who returned to the High Court in Johannesburg on Thursday, 27 March to challenge his suspension. Vavi is challenging his suspension after admitting to an extra-marital affair with a junior employee. He said the trade union federation's central executive committee failed to hold a vote as required by its constitution. Cosatu maintains that Vavi was suspended because he violated the federation's code of conduct. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Johannesburg - The ruling setting aside Zwelinzima Vavi's suspension is a victory for Cosatu members, the Workers' and Socialist Party said on Friday.

“The attempt of the pro-ANC leadership around (Cosatu president S’dumo) Dlamini and (acting general secretary Bheki) Ntshalintshali to subordinate Cosatu within the tripartite alliance has suffered a set-back today,” Wasp said in a statement.

“Dlamini and co have pursued their vendetta against Vavi on behalf of the ANC, who sees it as a strategic objective to suffocate the resistance of the organised working class to the ANC's anti-working class policies.”

Deputy Judge President Phineas Mojapelo earlier ruled in the High Court in Johannesburg that the Congress of SA Trade Unions' central executive committee had the right to suspend Vavi, but that it had failed to comply with Cosatu's constitution.

The Food and Allied Workers' Union (Fawu), a Cosatu affiliate, also welcomed the court ruling.

“The Fawu welcomes the judgment... as nothing but confirmation of the need for common sense to prevail in dealing with the crisis within Cosatu,” general secretary Katishi Masemola said in a statement.

Masemola said Fawu hoped Cosatu's national office bearers and the unions which had supported Vavi's suspension would not pursue further legal steps.

It encouraged him to return to work as Cosatu's general secretary as soon as his daughter had recovered from a car accident. Vavi was not in court because his daughter was in a car crash in Queenstown, in the Eastern Cape, on Thursday.

“Fawu will still take legal advice on how to launch a lawsuit to individual leaders of the federation and of supporting affiliated unions should they proceed to make an appeal and take other legally-flawed decisions yet utilising resources of Cosatu to defend such steps,” Masemola said.

Cosatu is expected to discuss the judgment and the way forward at a special central executive committee meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday.