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Seven unions vow to defy Cosatu president

Cosatu President Sidumo Dlamini told unions not to interact or work with Zwelinzima Vavi.

FILE: A group of Cosatu members outside Cosatu House in Johannesburg's CBD earlier this week. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Seven Congress South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) unions on Wednesday vowed to defy an order from President Sidumo Dlamini not to interact or work with Zwelinzima Vavi, saying they didn't recognise the decision taken to dismiss him as general secretary of the federation.

In a show of unity at a briefing, Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu), South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union, Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa, the Communication Workers Union (CWU), South African Football Players Union and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa lashed out at Cosatu's leaders.

The federation's CEC meeting voted to dismiss the secretary general on Monday.

At least 31 members of the CEC voted to dismiss him while only one member voted against that decision.

Together the unions plan to hold mass meetings with their members to ascertain whether the federation was worth fighting for, while Vavi will address the members of unions supporting him this month as they decide whether to form a new movement.

"Can we win back Cosatu or have we reached the end of the road where we should now consider alternatives?"

Fawu's General Secretary Katishi Masemola said his members would not be prevented from speaking or listening to the dismissed general secretary.

"We are going to continue to invite Zwelinzima Vavi into our activities. If we can't invite him as the General Secretary of Cosatu then we'll invite him as the son of his dad."

The CWU's deputy General Secretary Thabo Mogalane said they rejected Vavi's dismissal and maintain that Numsa should return into the federation.

"We view those developments as being political by capturing Cosatu for the interest of capital."

The unions' presence at Wednesday's briefing is in defiance of Dlamini and is the strongest show of support for Vavi since his dismissal.

VAVI CONSULTING LAWYERS AND ALLIED UNIONS FOLLOWING DISMISSAL

Vavi on Wednesday said he was consulting lawyers and allied unions before deciding if he should challenge his expulsion from the trade union federation which he's described as completely unfair and illegal.

He said his dismissal represented a turning point in South Africa's labour movement.

The former general secretary said his right to a fair process had been denied.

Vavi added the workers and his family would advise him on whether he should challenge his dismissal.

"I'm in consultation to decide if I should challenge my illegal expulsion. I have no doubt that the dismissal is unfair."

The sacked Cosatu general secretary said mass meetings with seven Cosatu unions would take place across the country this week where a political response will be finalised.

WATCH: Vavi opens up after dismissal.