Suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi is seen at the National Union of Metalworkers of SA's (Numsa) political school in Benoni in eastern Johannesburg on Tuesday, 17 September 2013, titled the Mbuyiselo Ngwenda Brigade. Ngwenda was Numsa's former general secretary.Vavi said he was speaking as a friend and neighbour of the late Ngwenda. Cosatu must remain an independent organisation whose leaders should not serve on the national executive committee (NEC) of the ANC, Vavi said on Tuesday. Last month, Cosatu announced that Vavi had been put on special leave pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing relating to an affair he had with a junior employee.In July, the employee accused him of rape. He said he had an affair with her. The woman subsequently withdrew a sexual harassment complaint against him.Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Johannesburg - Cosatu's central executive committee (CEC) has declined a request by nine affiliates for a special national congress (SNC).

“The CEC raised problems which a SNC would cause affiliates, including financial constraints, a full programme of other events and election work,” acting general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali told reporters in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

“In this context, the meeting decided to decline the request for a SNC.”

The Congress of SA Trade Unions held a special CEC on Monday.

Nine Cosatu affiliates called for the reinstatement of suspended general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and for a special congress to be held.

Vavi was suspended last year after he admitted to having an affair with a junior employee. The affiliates believed the disciplinary process instituted against Vavi was unjust.

They wanted the congress to be held by the end of March and a new Cosatu leadership elected. The unions threatened to take Cosatu to court if it did not hold the congress.

The affiliates are the Communication Workers Union, the Democratic Nurses Union of SA, the Food and Allied Workers Union, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA, the Public and Allied Workers Union of SA, the SA Commercial and Catering Workers Union, the SA Football Players Union, the SA Municipal Workers Union, and the SA State and Allied Workers Union.

On Monday, four regional offices of the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood, and Allied Workers Union threw their weight behind the call for Vavi's reinstatement.

Ntshalintshali on Tuesday said the nine affiliated unions did not attend the CEC meeting.