Vavi is alleged to have acted improperly in the acquisition of Cosatu’s headquarters building in Braamfontein. He snubbed the federation’s central executive committee (CEC) meeting held last week, where the issue of the building was part of the agenda.
SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande said the organisation hoped everyone implicated in the saga would cooperate with Cosatu for the sake of its unity. “Comrade Vavi has said he’s not guilty of anything. So there is no reason why he should not go and clear himself in front of the auditors,” said Nzimande. “We will support that [Vavi’s submission to the auditors] because that’s what we think will deal with the problem in Cosatu. It looks like some of the unions who were outside boycotting the CEC have come back. We hope the rest will come back.”
Eight Cosatu union affiliates boycotted the CEC in solidarity with the expelled National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa). The metalworkers union has since announced plans to institute legal action in a bid to return to Cosatu. The unions include the Food and Allied Workers’ Union, SA Football Players’ Union, Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA and the Communication Workers’ Union.
However, Nzimande described Numsa’s planned court bid as “strange”, saying the union had actually “expelled itself by violating Cosatu principles”. “It’s strange that they want to be inside, but they are organising other unions and violating the principles of Cosatu. “As far as we are concerned, Numsa has expelled itself from Cosatu. We will accept whatever decision Cosatu takes which is in the interests of the workers,” said Nzimande.
Vavi could not be reached for comment.