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Vavi lifts the lid on Cosatu/Numsa saga via letter

Zwelinzima Vavi says the decision to expel Numsa has the potential to destroy Cosatu.

FILE: Zwelinzima Vavi has written a letter to union leaders in which he says the decision to expel Numsa has the potential to destroy Cosatu. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Congress of South African Trade Union's (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has written a letter to union leaders in which he says he didn't attend yesterday's press conference because he cannot defend the decision to expel metalworkers union, Numsa.

He says the decision that was taken has the potential to destroy Cosatu.

Yesterday, Cosatu's president S'dumo Dlamini and deputy general secretary Bheki Ntshalitshali said Vavi wasn't at the press conference because he needed to meet his lawyers.

In the two page document, Vavi says while he has in the past defended decisions he didn't agree with because of his belief in democratic centralism, he simply cannot defend the decision to expel Numsa.

He says this decision is contradicting and undermining organised workers and will have momentous implications for years to come.

Vavi also wrote that he's not doing public interviews because that might further jeopardise Cosatu and force it to jump off a cliff.

Vavi says Cosatu is in imminent danger of destroying what was built on the blood and sweat of workers over many years.

He also says there is little doubt about where Cosatu is heading unless, what he calls the current logjam, is tackled.

Vavi says he still believes the problems in the federation can be fixed, but people will have to put aside their personal feelings and considerations.

This letter appears to directly contract yesterday's comments by Dlamini and Ntshalitshali and could be another indication of the deep divisions between them and Vavi

It also appears to show that Vavi is increasingly isolated among Cosatu's national leaders who all appear to agree with the decision to expel the metalworkers union.

To read the full letter, click here.

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