Cosatu Expels Vavi,Unionist Set To Appeal

Zwelinzima Vavi is expected to challenge his expulsion by Congress of South Africa Trade Unions (Cosatu’s) Special Central Executive Committee(CEC). He responded on social media after the expulsion was announced tweeting Don’t mourn – Organise!

Vavi, who has been at the helm of the trade union federation for more than 15 years, also quoted Martin Luther King in his second tweet after his expulsion.

The CEC voted by 31 to one to axe the federation’s Secretary General at a special meeting in Braamfontein on Monday. Many had expected the move after Vavi refused to step down, but announced he would boycott the CEC meeting.

The CEC had expected Vavi to explain why he had boycotted the last meeting, distanced himself from its decision to expel National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (Numsa) and revealed to the media internal processes and finances.  

Vavi’s stay in Cosatu has been in the balance since August last year. He faced nine charges for his sex scandal and alleged financial impropriety for the sale and purchase of Cosatu’s Headquarters.

The court lifted his suspension in February.

His detractors within the federation have since been calling for the charges to be reinstated but were kept at bay mainly by the African National Congress (ANC’s) intervention.

After Numsa was expelled and seven other unions suspended their participation in the CEC – Vavi faced a hostile CEC that supported President Sdumo Dlamini.

It is unlikely Vavi will go out quietly after he vowed to mobilise workers for what he calls reclaiming Cosatu. He will need to win their hearts and minds to appeal his expulsion at the National Conference later this year.

Cosatu is expected to hold a media briefing on Tuesday afternoon to relate the outcomes of its two day Special Central Executive Committee meeting.