South Africa 15.4.2015 08:00 am

Cosatu worry: unions give Vavi a platform

FILE PICTURE: Cosatu Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi (C) is surrounded by supporters as he arrives to address striking members National Union of Metalworkers (NUMSA) protesting in front of the Metal Industries House on the first day of a nationwide strike called by NUMSA in Johannesburg CBD on July 1, 2014. AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA

FILE PICTURE: Cosatu Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi (C) is surrounded by supporters as he arrives to address striking members National Union of Metalworkers (NUMSA) protesting in front of the Metal Industries House on the first day of a nationwide strike called by NUMSA in Johannesburg CBD on July 1, 2014. AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) yesterday called on its union affiliates not to allow expelled general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi to address their members on their public  platforms.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini said the federation was expecting its union’s members to abide by its decision not to afford expelled members an opportunity to address their occasions.

“As a principle, you do not identify with an individual, but with the organisation,” said Dlamini.

“If there are people violating that principle, they should know they have acted in an ill-disciplined manner. We will not punish them, but we will continue making calls on them to abide.”

Cosatu expelled Vavi last month, following lengthy public run-ins with its leadership over various matters. These included allegations levelled at him over the improper acquisition of Cosatu’s headquarters building in Braamfontein.

Despite his expulsion, Vavi continued to address workers gatherings. These included a meeting of shop stewards from some unions in Bloemfontein on Monday.

He called on the workers to put possible solutions on the table to “address a rift” within Cosatu while addressing a gathering in Port Elizabeth.

In August 2013, the South African Democratic Teachers Union suspended its president, Thobile Ntola, for allegedly giving Vavi a platform to address a union gathering while Vavi was on suspension at Cosatu. Ntola was later expelled for what the union described as an inappropriate relationship with service providers.

The seven unions backing Vavi include the National Union of Metalworkers of SA and the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa.

Vavi’s spokesperson, John Dludlu, said: “He is not asking for a platform, but the unions invite him to address their gatherings.”

warren@citizen.co.za

 

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