DURBAN 19-03-2014 Zwelinzima Vavi infront addresing Numsa people as they match in west street to City Hall. Picture: S'bonelo Ngcobo

Johannesburg - Union officials and supporters filled the courtroom at the High Court in Johannesburg on Thursday ahead of a bid by suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi to have his suspension overturned.

National Union of Metalworkers of SA general secretary Irvin Jim and his deputy Karl Cloete sat with Vavi in the front row of the court. Numsa has been a strong ally of Vavi's.

Congress of SA Trade Unions president Sidumo Dlamini and acting general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali were also present in court.

In August last year, Cosatu said Vavi had been put on special leave pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing relating to his affair with a junior employee.

In July, the employee accused him of rape. He said they had an affair. The woman subsequently withdrew a sexual harassment complaint against him.

Numsa lodged an application in the High Court in Johannesburg challenging Vavi's suspension.

Vavi then lodged papers to be added as an applicant in Numsa's challenge.

In these, he asks the court to grant him an interim order interdicting and restraining Cosatu from enforcing any decision taken at its central executive committee (CEC) meeting in August.

He wants final relief to review and set aside the decision to suspend him and institute disciplinary proceedings. - Sapa