Vavi suspension declared invalid

The judge says the CEC failed to comply with the Cosatu’s constitution as they did not vote.

The suspended boss of South Africa’s largest labour union federation Cosatu Zwelinzima Vavi holds on 16 August, 2013 a press conference in Joahannesburg. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The decision to suspend Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has been declared invalid, unlawful and has been set aside in the South Gauteng High Court.

Judge Phineas Mojapelo said although Cosatu was authorised to suspend Vavi, the Central Executive Committee (CEC) failed to comply with the federation's constitution as they did not vote.

Vavi's supporters cheered as the judgment was read out. His wife Noluthando, who has been by his side since his suspension, hugged the people around her and celebrations outside the court have begun.

Noluthando says she feels vindicated but the judgment has raised more questions than answers.

"The way they acted against him makes ask why they would do that."

It's understood Vavi is in the Eastern Cape attending to a family matter and will return to office as soon as possible.

Numsa and other affiliates in support of Zwelinzima Vavi address media outside the South Gauteng High Court on 4 April 2014. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven says they will respect the decision of the court and discuss it at next week's CEC meeting.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has supported Vavi since news of his suspension emerged.

Last week, Numsa said if the court ruled in Vavi's favour, action should be taken against Cosatu's national office bearers who suspended him.

Numsa will also find out next week if its application to have a disciplinary hearing against Vavi scrapped has been successful.