It has been learnt that the long standing Secretary General of the biggest workers’ federation in South Africa and, arguably, the whole of Africa, Mr Zwelinzima Vavi has been expelled from the federation after a meeting that was held on Monday in Johannesburg.
Apparently after a protracted meeting, the members of the Confederation of South African Trade Unions, COSATU, who attended the meeting voted to oust the tall formerly popular leader. According to sources that attended the meeting, out of 32 members that attended the meeting, 31 of them voted for the expulsion of Vavi while only one felt that it was still worthwhile to keep the leader within its ranks.
The sources go on to reveal that the major bone of contention was the fact that Vavi was not performing his duties as the Secretary General of the workers union. However, what has also emerged is that none of the members of COSATU who were known to be in support of Vavi attended the meeting. Even Vavi himself did not attend the meeting, having previously stated in a press conference on Sunday that he did not care what happened to him in the meeting, whether he was fired or not. He is purported to have added that he would be taking to the streets from then on. This was in apparent reference to street protests that has made COSATU as popular as it is.
The press conference that was held by Vavi on Sunday has come under fire from the Secretary General of the ruling African National Congress, ANC, Gwede Mantashe, who referred to it as bordering on delinquency, adding that he should not have gone to the media first before allowing processes and procedures of COSATU to deal with them. Turning to the COSATU itself, Mantashe advised that while firing Vavi might seem the easy way out, it was not the best solution and would lead to other problems. He added that the problems bedeviling the labour organisation were not insurmountable and that all they needed was leaders with the right thinking attitude and experience.