Vavi keen to return to work

Vavi says Cosatu will shift focus back to e-tolls and labour broking once he's back in office.

Suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture:Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Suspended Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi looks set to return to the centre of worker struggles ahead of the judgment in his court bid to be reinstated.

Last week, Vavi challenged Cosatu leaders in court and argued against his suspension on the grounds that a vote did not take place when the decision was made.

Vavi was placed on 'special leave' in August last year after admitting to having sex with a junior employee in the federation's headquarters.

He claims Cosatu's constitution was not adhered to when the decision was taken.

But Cosatu leaders claim there was no basis for the allegations, saying Vavi tried to isolate the collective following their decision.

Vavi praised his lawyers as he addressed workers outside the court during the adjournments, alongside his allies the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, Food and Allied Workers Union and the South African Football Players Union.

The politician and his ally Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim seemed confident of victory while addressing workers.

Vavi said Cosatu would shift its focus back to issues such as e-tolls and labour broking once he's back in office, while Jim told the crowd the trade union federation's current leadership wanted to maintain chaos.

"Other people want maintain the status quo of chaos in Cosatu of a divided federation."

Jim said it had been a painful experience to challenge Cosatu in court but it had to be done to protect workers.

"This federation belongs to workers and this action is about worker control."

Vavi echoed these sentiments but Jim said they may approach the courts again if a special national congress was not convened.