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We'll reclaim Cosatu, say Vavi supporters

Zwelinzima Vavi addressed a council in Salt River in his first public address since his booting from Cosatu.

Axed general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi addressed a council in Salt River in his first public address since his booting from Cosatu on 9 April 2015. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Trade unions who came out in support of Zwenlinzima Vavi, the axed general secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions

(Cosatu) have vowed to reclaim the federation from its current leadership.

Vavi addressed a shop steward council in Salt River on Thursday, making his first public address since he was booted from Cosatu.

He was expelled as the federation's general secretary last week after a special Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting decided he was guilty of gross misconduct.

His expulsion follows that of Cosatu's biggest affiliate, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa).

This is a first in a series of meetings by Vavi and leaders of the affiliated trade unions in an effort to reclaim Cosatu.

The hall at the Community House in Salt River is packed with Vavi supporters.

Food and Allied Workers' Union (Fawu) President Atwell Nazo said reports of them starting a new federation was untrue.

Nazo said unions have vowed to help Vavi to reclaim leadership in Cosatu.

Last week Vavi said he was consulting with lawyers and union leaders about what his next step would be after the CEC dismissed him.

He said his dismissal and three years of infighting at the trade union federation were about more than workers' struggles but also about protecting political privilege.

Vavi lashed out at his critics and former colleagues, maintaining that his dismissal was unfair.

WATCH: _ Vavi opens up after dismissal from Cosatu_