Quo Vadis Vavi?

Cosatu’s affiliates re-affirmed on Wednesday night that he must be disciplined on nine charges.

Vavi was given a breather while the ANC attempted to negotiate a peace deal for Cosatu. But now that that process is over and Numsa has been expelled from the federation, the disciplinary process continues.

The charges include maladministration, relating to the sale and purchase of Cosatu buildings, and bringing the federation into disrepute for having sex with a junior colleague in the office.

The decision was made by a special sitting of Cosatu’s central executive committee (CEC).

The meeting also decided that Zingiswa Losi, Cosatu’s second deputy president, remains in her position. Nearly half of Cosatu’s 18 affiliates believe she should no longer be deputy president, after she resigned as a Numsa member and suddenly became a shop steward for the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union.

This was despite her never being a policewoman.

However, National Union of Mineworkers general secretary Frans Baleni told a NUM conference on Wednesday that Losi had not obtained her post in a dodgy manner as she had been hired in an “administration position”.

Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini told the CEC that he would give the go-ahead for a special national congress. More than a third of Cosatu’s affiliates called for the congress over a year ago, but Dlamini has delayed the process, arguing that logistics and finances were a factor.

Last week, seven unions aligned to Numsa decided to boycott last night’s meeting, saying the CEC had become a “slaughterhouse”.

The unions and Numsa have threatened court action to force Dlamini to hold a special congress.

This legal action may not be necessary now.

The earliest that the special congress can be held is early next year. This means that Cosatu now sits with the headache of two congresses, as its normal one was meant to take place in September next year.

Some senior unionists said on Wednesday that the solution could be to rather have one congress early in the New Year.

Numsa and the seven unions want the extraordinary congress because they believe it is the only way to bring unity to Cosatu, which is rent down the middle at the moment.

A special or normal congress has the power to elect new leaders.

They also believe that, unlike the CEC, where they do not have the majority, they may have greater influence in a congress where there are more delegates who can be influenced to vote in their favour.

However, anti-Numsa elements said on Wednesday that even if new leadership were elected at a congress, the power lay with the CEC.

Cosatu’s national office-bearers have no voting rights at CEC meetings.


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