Cosatu meeting could determine Vavi's fate

Vavi was removed from his post in August after admitting to having sex with a younger employee.

Suspended Cosatu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)'s central executive committee is scheduled to meet today to hold discussions that could lead to suspended General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi being formally expelled from the organisation.

Vavi was removed from his post in August after admitting to having sex with a younger Cosatu employee who had initially accused him of rape.

But Vavi and his allies believe his suspension forms part of a wider political plot to oust him and have questioned the legitimacy of the meeting during which he was suspended.

Today's meeting is likely to put Vavi's supporters against his opponents, but it seems more unions are against him than for him.

And thus his enemies and Cosatu President Sdumo Dlamini may have the upper hand.

Dlamini has already said Vavi broke the terms of his suspension by addressing striking workers last week during a wage strike by Numsa.

This may be used as a reason to formally expel him.

His decision to take on Cosatu in court could also be the last straw.

On Friday, Vavi confirmed he will challenge his suspension and is now asking the court to join the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa's case against Cosatu.

He said he was left with no other option.

Last week, Cosatu's founding general secretary Jay Naidoo said he doesn't believe the different parts of the organisation will be able to come together again.

"There's no way you can solve this issue within Cosatu. It cannot be swept under the carpet any longer."