Vavi's dismissal 'a sad day for SA’s labour movement'

Nactu says Zwelinzima Vavi’s dismissal will divide workers further in the face of increased exploitation.

Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu) General-Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi during a press conference about his future in the trade union federation 29 March, 2015. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Council of Trade Unions (Nactu) has described the dismissal of Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi as a sad day for the labour movement in South Africa, as it will divide workers further in the face of increased exploitation.

Vavi was dismissed through a vote at a special Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting on Monday for what Cosatu says was gross misconduct and ill-discipline.

The now dismissed worker leader is addressing his supporters today to clarify what he plans to do next.

Nactu's President Joseph Maqhekeni says Vavi's dismissal should act as a catalyst for the labour movement.

"We just hope that the results of Vavi going will unite the workers forever, it may be an opportunity to consolidate themselves. Whether Vavi comes in in another way, we don't know but that's the direction we need to talk about."

Cosatu on Tuesday said it dismissed the secretary general for gross misconduct, which included missing three meetings without a valid reason, bringing the federation into disrepute and sowing divisions among its affiliates.

Deputy General Secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali has said Vavi's decision to boycott the meetings had a serious impact.

"The failure to attend the meeting had a major implication on the management and administration of the affairs of the federation."

He said the misconduct could not be tolerated.

"The CEC concludes that Cosatu's constitution and the code of conduct for staff and leaders had been violated by [Vavi.] Therefore he is dismissed with immediate effect."