Cosatu in serious financial trouble

The trade union federation says it is spending its funds defending itself in court.

The Congress of South African Trade Union. Picture: Janice Healing/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is running out of money because it's spending its funds defending itself in court, President Sidumo Dlamini said on Thursday.

He made the comments during the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu's) 8th National Congress in Boksburg on Gauteng's East Rand.

Dlamini said trade union affiliates shouldn't be taking each other to court.

Earlier this year, the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg found Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi's suspension invalid.

The Cosatu president says they've run into serious financial trouble.

"Cosatu is battling financially because a large portion of its finances has been used defending itself in courts."

He says the use of membership fees to fight the court battles is unsustainable.

"The purpose of members to pay subscription is for members to get a service."

Dlamini is due to meet with an African National Congress (ANC) intervention team late on Thursday.

The team is looking at internal divisions and legal battles within Cosatu.

'DIRTY MONEY CAUSING DIVISIONS'

South African Communist Party (SACP) General Secretary Blade Nzimande told the congress dirty money stolen from the union's investment arm is being used to divide affiliates and the broader tripartite alliance.

He called for an investigation into the use of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to fund home loans.

Nzimande says the PIC is worth more than R1 trillion.

He says some of that money has found its way to "rebel unions" determined to divide Cosatu.