South Africa’s COSATU fires Zwelinzima Vavi

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Cosatu’s central executive committee has fired Zwelinzima Vavi as the trade union federation’s general secretary.

The decision was taken on Monday night after the Congress of South African Trade Union’s leaders decided Vavi had acted improperly by refusing to attend COSATU meetings and failing to endorse the expulsion of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, the federation’s largest affiliate, sources said on Tuesday.

On Sunday Vavi announced that he would not be attending the meeting and did not care if he was dismissed or not. “If my refusal to attend is used as a pretext to fire me, then so be it,” he said.

His firing, after 16 years at the African National Congress aligned-federation, comes after COSATU expelled the 300-member-strong NUMSA last year. NUMSA had become a vocal opponent of Zuma, accusing his administration of putting business ahead of workers’ interests.

Vavi and Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini were not available for comment. Cosatu is due to hold a press conference on Tuesday to announce the decision.

 

 

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