Johannesburg, April 16, 2014 – Congress of the South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi is back to doing the trade union federation’s work and campaigning for the ANC, its president Sidumo Dlamini said on Wednesday.
“He is campaigning for the ANC. I’m sure you read his latest pronouncements in support of the ANC,” he told reporters in Johannesburg. “Cosatu wants a decisive victory of the ANC come May 7.”
Dlamini was speaking at a joint press briefing by the Cosatu and the SA Communist Party. This followed a meeting between the two alliance partners. Dlamini, deputy general-secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali, and first deputy president Tyotyo James were present at the briefing, representing Cosatu. Vavi was not.
Dlamini said Vavi was ill and that was the only reason he was not present. Vavi returned to work at Cosatu last week after eight months of being on suspension. This followed the High Court in Johannesburg’s ruling setting aside his suspension.
It was expected that the trade union federation would suspend Vavi again at its special central executive committee the day after his return last week. However, African National Congress deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa managed to broker a “ceasefire” within Cosatu.
Dlamini said on Wednesday Vavi would participate in Cosatu’s election campaign for the ANC. “It is expected of all of us to be there,” he said.
The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), which has been a strong Vavi ally and was instrumental in returning him to his position at the trade union federation, resolved last year not to support the ANC in the May 7 election.
There have been reports that the metalworkers’ union, which is Cosatu’s biggest affiliate, could be starting its own political party.