by Warren Mabona 5 MAy 2015 10h25
Metalworkers’ union Numsa and its ally, the United Front (UF), said yesterday they wanted ousted Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi to become their leader.
The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) expelled Vavi in March, following public spats between him and its leadership over allegations of financial impropriety levelled against him. He has since appeared in a number of public platforms convened by some of the seven unions that backed him. The unions include Numsa, which formed the UF last year.
UF national secretary Mazibuko Jara told The Citizen his organisation had asked Vavi to take part in the build-up to their national conference to be held next month, where the UF would be launched.
“Vavi is an important leader of the working class,” said Jara.
“Even though he was expelled from Cosatu, he still has an important role to play as a leader. We would not mind having him as our leader and have asked him to endorse our call for our national conference.”
He said the UF would use the conference to decide on its approach for the 2016 local government elections. Numsa president Andrew Chirwa said there would always be space for Vavi in the union, adding his election for a leadership position depended on the will of the workers.
“We want our relationship with him to go beyond what is happening now,” said Chirwa.
ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza said he was not sure if Vavi was still a member of his organisation in good standing.
“We cannot be drawn into what is happening now. The ANC leadership will deal with the matter depending on what decision he (Vavi) takes.”
Vavi’s spokesperson John Dludlu asked for a written inquiry – which was sent to him – and he promised to respond.