'Vavi should've approached CCMA'

The general secretary was suspended for having an affair with a younger employee.

Cosatu's leaders claim the CCMA is the legitimate platform that can hear Zwelinzima Vavi's dispute. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Lawyers representing Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)'s national leaders on Friday argued suspended general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi should've approached the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

He was suspended after admitting to having sex with a younger employee at the trade union federation's Johannesburg headquarters.

Lawyers for Cosatu further argued Vavi should've approached the CMMA immediately after his suspension.

The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg heard the CCMA was the only legitimate platform to hear the dispute.

Advocate Craig Pringle says the Labour Court is a specialised state institution and has a parallel appeal court, which makes it independent from the high court.

But Vavi was dismissive of these claims during his address to workers outside the court during lunch.

Vavi's lawyers and the National Union of Mineworkers of South Africa are expected to reply to the claims after the adjournment.