Comments by Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini have “contaminated” a planned meeting to discuss the fate of general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) has said.
“The reasons and motivation for the convening of the special CEC (central executive committee) on August 14 … has been contaminated and prejudged by the Cosatu president’s public utterances,” Numsa said today.
Numsa said Dlamini had “determined” that Vavi had brought Cosatu into disrepute before the CEC received a report on the matter.
The CEC meeting, which was scheduled for Wednesday, follows an admission by Vavi to an extramarital affair with a married junior employee at Cosatu. The employee alleged that Vavi raped her, but she later withdrew her sexual harassment grievance against him.
Numsa held a special central committee meeting on Sunday to discuss Cosatu’s upcoming CEC meeting.
It said after the meeting that it expected Dlamini to “engage the presidents of affiliates to rescue Cosatu from imploding”. However, he asked Numsa president Cedric Gina to convene the presidents.
This showed that Dlamini had “taken sides”.
“Hence Numsa’s position is that we cannot have confidence in such a leader.”
It called on the Cosatu national office bearers to cancel the special CEC meeting.
Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said he could not comment on the matter.
Numsa said it was clear that people within Cosatu who were “advocating the idea of a rupture” in the trade union federation might be correct.
“From Numsa’s perspective, this rupture in Cosatu is between forces of capitalism and forces of socialism,” it said.
“Those who want comrade … Vavi out of Cosatu want a Cosatu that will be a ‘toy telephone’, a ‘labour desk’, a pro-capitalist Cosatu, and those who are defending comrade Vavi want a revolutionary socialist, anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist Cosatu,” it said.
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