15. 8. 2013

COSATU Suspends Strongman Zwelinzima Vavi

General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has been suspended by the trade union federation, according to the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

While there was no official confirmation of his suspension, the state broadcaster cited an unnamed COSATU official as its source.

Vavi could not be reached for comment, but on Thursday he tweeted: "I committed an error & have profusely apologised to everyone hurt by my indiscretion. That was a right thing to do.
"I am relieved so many have accepted that apology and recognize that some remain unforgiving. Know others celebrating and rubbing salt. Thank you for the support - will say more later.”

Insiders said a special meeting of COSATU’s central executive committee (CEC) in Johannesburg on Wednesday had resolved to subject Vavi to a formal disciplinary process in connection with his much-publicised sexual encounter with a junior employee at COSATU offices.

The executive committee resolved to sanction Vavi for allegedly employing a female staffer without following procedure. Vavi, who has been at the helm of the 2 million-member labour federation since 1998, was asked to recuse himself.

While anti-Vavi forces prevailed, it is understood that his supporters put up a strong fight. Eventually, the majority of the committee members supported a motion to charge him.

Last month, a junior employee at COSATU accused Vavi of rape. He admitted to having a consensual affair with the woman. The woman subsequently withdrew her complaint against him. (M&G, Johannesburg)

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