South Africa 27.11.2013 06:08 pm

Splitting federation no option – Mantashe

FILE PICTURE: ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Neil McCartney

FILE PICTURE: ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Neil McCartney

Cosatu must decide if going after its suspended general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi is worth the fight, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Wednesday.

“Splitting the federation is not an option. You can pursue [Vavi] if you want to, but if the price you must pay to pursue Vavi is to split Cosatu, it is not worth the price,” he said.

He was addressing the SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union’s executive committee in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. The union is an affiliate of the Congress of SA Trade Unions.

“Splitting the federation is not worth the price of fighting battles. It doesn’t work in real life.”

Mantashe said efforts to split Cosatu should be stopped, and he reminded the union federation that its founding principles were still relevant. He said it was the duty of the unions to protect it.

“There are those who want to collapse the federation. They must weaken the alliance first.”

Vavi has been put on special leave pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing relating to his affair with a junior employee at Cosatu. In July, the employee accused him of rape. He said they had an affair. The woman subsequently withdrew a sexual harassment complaint against him.

Following his suspension, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA lodged an application in the High Court in Johannesburg challenging the decision to suspend Vavi.

Sapa

 

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