Home South African Cracks in Saftu over Vavi’s suspension for financial misconduct

Cracks in Saftu over Vavi’s suspension for financial misconduct

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A major war is looming between Saftu president Mac Chavalala and his affiliates about general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi’s spending on the federation’s credit card, but he is adamant of victory ahead of the national executive committee meeting.

Saftu general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. File picture: Chris Collingridge

A MAJOR war is looming between Saftu president Mac Chavalala and his affiliates about general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi’s spending on the federation’s credit card, but he is adamant of victory ahead of the national executive committee meeting.

Chavalala came under attack for reportedly revealing to the media that Vavi allegedly failed to account for more than R65,000 on the federation’s credit card.

The pending financial misconduct was one of the reasons Chavalala and some of his top executives wanted to place Vavi on precautionary suspension pending disciplinary action against him.

But this has been met with resistance from the affiliated unions.

The unions accused Chavalala of having leaked internal federation matters to the media, but he has denied the allegations.

“Vavi was the first to raise these matters in the media. He spoke to various radio stations and a TV station about these matters. We were merely replying to allegations he made on those platforms,” Chavalala said.

“He also admitted that he gave bodyguards the credit cards to use. We do not have bodyguards in Saftu.”

He said Vavi was a full-time employee, saying the Saftu top leadership has overall control over him and his staff.

“We pay for his salary and car allowance.”

But the affiliates are adamant that the top leadership should have consulted them before issuing any precautionary suspension to Vavi.

This was the unanimous view of 14 affiliate unions of Saftu after some of the top leadership of Saftu announced the pending actions against Vavi in the media without their knowledge.

Vusi Ntshangase, who is a Saftu NEC member, described the decision of Chavalala and three others as a group of factionalists within Saftu tasked to divide the federation,

“A group of factionalists inside our beloved federation decided to leak to the media a misguided and ill-advised letter with the intent to suspend the general-secretary, Vavi. Most of our members have seen this letter penned by Chavalala.

“The letter is mischievous and malicious as it sought to portray and smear the Saftu general-secretary as possibly corrupt and to face a possible suspension to answer to a series of so-called misdemeanours including trampling on the Saftu constitution, undermining the decisions of the constitutional structures, assuming the national congress, central committee and the national executive committee,” Ntshangase said.

He was adamant that they as Saftu’s national executive committee members were not made aware of the allegations prior to it being issued by their top leadership.

“In terms of Saftu constitution, the power to suspend the national office-bearers is a prerogative and an exclusive reserve of the national executive committee.

“Clause 3(5), section 3.3(5.3), sub-section 3.3.5, deals with the suspension of an office bearer and it states the following under the power and duties of the national executive committee that the NEC may: ’suspend any office-bearer or official of the federation for sufficient cause until the matter is decided at the next meeting of the central committee’,” said Ntshangase.

“We reject with the contempt it deserves the attempt of some national office bearers to usurp this power of the national executive committee.

“The Saftu general-secretary cannot be suspended by his own colleagues. That power to take disciplinary action is a preserve and sole prerogative of the national executive committee.”

The Saftu NEC is meeting next Thursday and Ntshangase vowed that they would deal with the alleged misconduct of Chavalala and his group.

“They are going to face consequences for their actions. We are going to pursue them. They must be held accountable,” Ntshangase said.

Political Bureau

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