Vavi won't appeal Cosatu dismissal

Zwelinzima Vavi says it would be a waste of time to contest his dismissal as he would only be fired again.

Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Zwelinzima Vavi on Wednesday said he wouldn't appeal his dismissal as expelled Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary unless the courts agreed that a special national congress should be convened with all unions.

He said they would include National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), the 'Save Our Samwu' campaign and other leaders who have been purged.

Vavi said it would be a waste of time to contest his dismissal within the trade union federation as he would only be fired again for another reason by the faction that voted him out.

Last month, he was dismissed for gross misconduct in a Cosatu meeting with seven unions boycotting in protest.

Vavi said without their victories in court Cosatu will remain a hollow shell of its former self.

Last week, Numsa said the current divide between unions in South Africa was only temporary and called on workers to take control of their organisations and to stop allowing leaders to bully them.

During its separate May Day rally in Johannesburg, the metalworkers' union president Andrew Chirwa said the current fragmentation in the labour movement was not what was intended when the debate within Cosatu started.

"It's a set back and a capitalist strategy to divide us."

Despite this, several Cosatu members attended the Numsa gathering and the union said this was an indication that workers could rise above politics.

Chirwa added that workers had the power to change this and unite across all factions.

"We will succeed if we remain focused on the revolutionary agenda which is with the worker's agenda."

He told workers that they had no choice but to continue with the struggle and was loudly applauded throughout his speech.