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Disgruntled unions to discuss Vavi & Numsa before Cosatu congress

The unions have openly declared their support for a campaign to reinstate Numsa and Zwelinzima Vavi.

FILE: National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa and Cosatu members sit inside Johannesburg High Court ahead of the court hearing after Numsa made calls to be reinstated back to Cosatu on 9 June 2015. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Some disgruntled Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) unions are meeting with their members separately to decide how they will raise the issue of the expulsion of Zwelinzima Vavi and National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) at the federation's special congress.

Cosatu will begin its special congress Monday.

The unions, who have openly declared their support for a campaign to reinstate Numsa and Cosatu's former general secretary, will all meet to plan their approach at the congress.

The metalworkers union's Karl Cloete says about eight unions are on the same page when it comes to what they want to see happening at the trade union federation's congress.

"We have the same expectations, we want Numsa back in Cosatu and bringing back Zwelinzima Vavi."

Cloete has lashed out at Cosatu president Sidumu Dlamini, accusing him of wanting to destroy the federation, which Numsa helped to build.

"All the shop stewards attending must feel insulted and disrespected by Sidumo's claims that monies are set aside to buy their loyalty with alcohol and drugs."

Numsa says it can't reveal just how far they will go to make sure Vavi and Numsa return to the federation.

The special national congress is scheduled for 13 and 14 July.

NUMSA EXPELLED FROM COSATU

Last year, Numsa was expelled from Cosatu, marking the first split of the worker federation since it was formed in 1985.

Numsa's exit from Cosatu was widely expected and the union walked out of the committee meeting after what it described as a restless debate.

Numsa's General Secretary Irvin Jim insisted that the union's expulsion from Cosatu was predetermined.

VAVI AXED FROM COSATU

Earlier this year, Cosatu's CEC voted 31 votes to one, to fire Vavi.

The trade union federation dismissed him for what it said was gross misconduct and ill-discipline.

The gross misconduct included missing three meetings without a valid reason, bringing the federation into disrepute and sowing divisions among its affiliates.

He told his supporters not to mourn but to mobilise, several unions claimed his dismissal is proof the voice of the worker in the trade union federation has been muzzled.