After re-election, Saftu's Vavi to reach out to Numsa's Jim to ease tensions

Saftu insists that all sides were ready to move past the recent conflict, focusing its energy on the struggles of workers in the country.

FILE: Saftu secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: Bertram Malgas/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Trade union federation Saftu claims to have defied the prophets of doom as it walks away from a tension-filled second elective conference.

Re-elected secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi said he would reach out to Numsa’s Irvin Jim in a bid to resolve tensions that played out between the pair in the lead-up and throughout this week’s conference.

Saftu insists that all sides were ready to move past the recent conflict, focusing its energy on the struggles of workers in the country.

Proceedings were delayed due to deliberations over the fate of four suspended office-bearers, two of whom have since been re-elected as officials.

Vavi said that both he and Jim had responsibilities to find one another following months of conflict.

"All of us know that we shouldn't maintain any kind of tensions between the leading personalities in the trade union movement," Vavi said.

Meanwhile, Saftu president Ruth Ntlokotse said Wednesday’s decision by unions to resolve the impasse over the four suspended officials' rights to stand for elections was a demonstration of maturity.

She said affiliates also showed commitment through putting in place processes towards forging unity in the young federation.

"They gave us marching orders, as national office-bearers, that we need to learn from the past five years so that we can be able to be the federation that we declare ourselves [to be]," Ntlokotse said.

Reports following investigations into the previous attempts to suspend Vavi and the counter-suspensions of officials will be completed and handed over to the new leadership soon.