Teachers’ union Sadtu in the western region of the Eastern Cape has warned of the detrimental effects of the suspension of both Cosatu General-Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and Sadtu deputy president Thobile Ntola on next year’s elections.
Ntola was suspended after accepting Vavi’s apology over a sex scandal with a 26-year-old colleague during the teachers’ union’s regional conference in Port Elizabeth. Sadtu regional chairperson Mazotsho Dukwe says both Vavi and Ntola were instrumental in ensuring victory for the ANC, especially in the embattled Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.
Dukwe says there were areas which were referred to as no go areas and it was Cosatu that was able to go to those areas, persuade people to vote for the ANC, in particular Vavi and Ntola. He says going forward, 2014/2016 respectively, their influence and their courage within the parameter and jurisdiction of the metro will also become critical so as in the entire province and country as a whole. Vavi is expected to respond to his suspension later today.
Meanwhile, Cosatu Second Deputy President Zingiswa Losi says the rights of Vavi’s accuser have been trampled upon by a number of its affiliate’s representatives. The labour federation addressed the media in Johannesburg today following its Special Central Executive Committee yesterday’s into the Vavi sex scandal. Both Vavi and his female colleague have been suspended and placed on special leave. The meeting has decided to investigate the allegations of sexual harassment against Vavi and conduct disciplinary hearings for the pair.
[View the story “Vavi suspension – reaction” on Storify]