Cosatu denies reinstating charges against Vavi

Vavi said some information peddlers had spread untruths about Cosatu reinstating charges.

FILE: Cosatu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions ( Cosatu) says it has not reinstated charges against general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

The trade union federation held a special Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting yesterday but says information peddlers have distorted the outcome of that gathering.

It says a special national congress will be held at a date yet to be decided.

Vavi said they were forced to call today's press conference to set the record straight.

He said some information peddlers had spread untruths about Cosatu's CEC reinstating charges against him and that nothing could be further from the truth.

Vavi also called on individuals who had launched a public onslaught on comrades to stop these attacks.

At the same time, the union says it will attempt to resolve allegations of wrongdoing against Vavi through political mediation and not a disciplinary process.

Cosatu President Sidumo Dlamini said the matter had not been swept under the carpet.

"We are dealing with the issue in the manner that will unite the federation. We aren't sparing him. We're not treating him with soft gloves."

Earlier, a third of the unions affiliated to the federation served it with court papers to force it to convene a special national congress.

Yesterday, Cosatu's senior leaders met without the participation of the seven unions that are opposing the expulsion of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) from the federation.

Numsa was voted out of Cosatu by 33 votes to 24 earlier this month and the decision has since exposed the rift between rival affiliates.

Speaking at a Numsa seminar about gender issues in Johannesburg last night, the union's general secretary Irvin Jim said the union will continue to fight its dismissal from Cosatu.

At the same time, Jim accused South African Communist Party leader Blade Nzimande of driving a wedge between Cosatu and its affiliates.