The Congress of South African Trade Unions [COSATU] held its Special Central Executive Committee [CEC] from the 30th to the 31st March 2015.
The meeting was held in terms of the COSATU constitution. It was attended by the National Office Bearers, 12 Affilliates and Provinces, including SAMWU and DENOSA.
The meeting on amongst others discussed and agreed on the following:
- Taking forward the applications for affiliation.
On SEAPU : The meeting agreed that there would be a follow up meeting with SEAPU and other affected unions to ensure proper admission of the union into COSATU.
On LIMUSA : The meeting reaffirmed its satisfaction that LIMUSA satisfied all the constitutional requirement of the COSATU constitution and therefore accepted LIMUSA as a new COSATU affilliate.
The process which will be followed moving forward, includes the induction of the new union and other necessary Constitutional processes.
- On Campaigns The meeting agreed to vigoureously take forward the Living Wage campaign including a focus on the National Minimum Wage. We believe that this will help address the inequalities and high levels of poverty engulfing our country . The Federation is now gearing for a mother of all battles in the streets to achive a living wage and to fitght against all manifestations of racism in the workplace. The CEC took place within the context of the season of collective bargaining in various sectors. As we speak, the Public Sector are warming for action against the intregence of the employer who did something unprecedent to drop from their intial offer. This represented the worst form of bad faith negotiations. Our members are angry and are prepared to figh to the bitte end for their demands.
- On the UIF – Tax holiday The CEC was angry that the government wanted to introduce changes to the UIF without proper consultation and was giving a comnmitment to give a tax holiday to capital whilst many of our people remain unemployed and cannot access the UIF.
In this regard the CEC was clear that anty surplus created in the UIF should be directed at adressing unemployment and poverty .
- May Day Activities The CEC greed that the National May Day activities for 2015 will be held in KZN and the focus will be on 60 years of the Freedom Charter, 30 years of COSATU, the National Minimum Wage, the living wage campaign, vulnerable workers such as farm workers,workers in the hospitality industry. And will focusing in the battle against Labour brokers, and the fight against threats on our hard won right to strike. Affilliates committed to provide resources including deplpoying personnel at COSATU House take the campaign
- Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo report The two reports have now been adopted by the CEC. The task team of general Secretaries must now interogate the two reports and source legal advise where necessary . Where they have identified fraudulent activities, we will take the issues to he Law Enforcement Agencies
- Special National Congress The Special National Congress will be held in July 2015.
- On the failure and refusal of the general Secretary to perform his duties and carry out his responsibililies .
7.1. The Central Executive Committee noting with concern that:
7.2. After the Special Central Executive Committee meeting held on the 7th November 2014 in which a decision was taken to expel NUMSA, the General Secretary did not attend the media conference which was convened to communicate the decisions of this CEC. Instead he wrote a letter which was also accessed by the media in which he expressed his opposition to the decision of this CEC to expel NUMSA. This was a CEC which he had convened and in which he was also present and participated in its deliberations.
7.3. He did not attend the joint Political and Socio- Economic Commission which he had convened on the 24th January 2015, saying that he will not attend the meeting because the other affiliates who went public about boycotting the CEC had also not attended the meeting.
7.4. He did not attend the properly constituted ordinary CEC held from the 2nd to 4th March 2015 which was convened by himself, citing the absence of the unions which had openly boycotted the meeting as the reasons for his non-attendance. Throughout the proceedings of the meeting he spoke to the media communicating views that were in opposition to or contrary to the interests of the Federation which he had been elected by the 11th Congress to lead as its General Secretary.
7.5. At its properly constituted ordinary CEC held from the 2nd to 4th March 2015 which he convened , in the light of the failure of the General Secretary to attend this meeting o to explain his behavior which went against the expressed provisions of the COSATU constitution and the code of conduct for staff and leaders, it was decided that the General Secretary be called upon to attend the meeting of the Special Central Executive Committee scheduled from 30th to 31st March 2015 to explain his failure to attend the ordinary CEC held from the 2nd to 4th March 2015.
By not coming to this CEC to explain his conduct, he therefore waved his right to put his side of the story.
This is in addition to his refusal to cooperate in giving his side of the story on serious allegations contained in the Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo report.
7.6. The General Secretary refused and failed to attend these meetings . The failure of the General Secretary to attend the meeting of the 2nd to 4th March 2015, including the Special CEC convened from the 30th to 31st March 2015 had major implications on the management and administration of the affairs of the Federation.
7.7. The duties of the General Secretary in terms of the constitution include being responsible for the following : 10.1.1 Financial affairs including – 10.1.1.1. The keeping of books and accounts as may be required by the CEC; 10.1.1.2. The collection of affiliate fees; 10.1.1.3. The banking of monies received in the name of the Federation; 10.1.1.4. The preparation and circulation of detailed monthly financial statements to the Provinces and affiliates of the Federation; 10.1.2 Correspondence and notices including – 10.1.2.1. Tabling correspondence where necessary, at CEC meetings; 10.1.2.2. Sending out notices and minutes of all meetings of the NC, CC, CEC and other related committees and sub-committees; 10.1.3 Reports including – 10.1.3.1. The preparation and circulation of the Financial Annual Report which must include statements of income and expenditure and the balance sheet; and 10.1.3.2. The circulation of the auditor`s report to the CEC; 10.1.4 General co-ordination and supervision including – 10.1.4.1. Office work and administration of the affairs and activities of the Federation; and 10.1.4.2. The supervision of staff and the Provincial Secretaries, 10.1.5 Other duties including tasks issued by the NC, CC and CEC.
7.8. It is important and necessary that at all times unless duly authorized, both the General Secretary and the Deputy General Secretary must be available to perform their functions and carry out their responsibilities.
- The Central Executive Committee further noting that:
8.1. The General Secretary has failed and refused to attend the meeting to explain his behavior
8.2. The General Secretary has failed to obtain leave of absence for his non-attendance of the properly constituted ordinary Central Executive Committee meeting including the Special CEC of the 30th to 31st March 2015;
- The Central Executive Committee further noting that:
9.1. The General Secretary held a press conference on the 29th March 2015 where on amongst others he said the following: “from this point I will no longer participate in the internal factional wrangling in the organization” page 30 para-43 . “ I will not attend the meetings of the federation” page 31 para-44 . …”I cannot attend the pending Special CEC“ page 31 para-45 . If my refusal to attend the Special CEC is used as a pretext to fire me, then so be it” page 32 para 65. “ This is a deliberate act of defiance on my part …”, page 34 para-71. “I am making a statement that COSATU belongs to its members , not to any faction or clique, page 43 , para-72. Please see the document titled Zwelinzima Vavi’s Public statement , 29 March 2015
- The Central Executive Committee further noting that:
10.1. The General Secretary continues to divide unions by addressing unconstitutional meetings.
10.2. He continues to use the resources of the federation to service NUMSA an expelled union which has declared intentions to destroy COSATU affiliates and openly undermined the founding principles of the federation of One Union, One Industry .
10.3. He continues to meet with people who have been suspended, some dismissed for corruption by COSATU unions. Many of these have declared intentions to destroy COSATU unions and thereby destroy the federation as a whole.
- The General Secretary violated the COSATU code of conduct for staff and leaders which on amongst others says that leaders are the face of the organization, the custodians of organisational decisions and must be alert to, and make others aware of any potential damages to the local and global image of the Federation. Therefore leaders will support and promote the wellbeing of the Federation including organisational cohesion.
- Taking into account the COSATU code of conduct for staff and elected leaders violated by the General Secretary on the General duties of leaders of the Federation which says that:
6.1. Every leader and employee occupies a position of trust towards his or her structure and all other structures of the Federation;
6.2. Every leader has a fiduciary duty to the Federation, which requires that he or she, at all times, acts with fidelity, honesty, integrity and in good faith; and in the best interest of the Federation;
6.3. Leaders must advance the principles of co-operative governance between the structures by ensuring that: they conduct their activities without impeding nor contradicting the spirit and efforts of the Federation’s constitution, its policies and decisions; and
6.4. co-operate with other structures within the Federation in a spirit of mutual trust and good faith by: assisting and supporting one another; informing one another of, and consulting one another on matters of common interest;
- Taking into account the code of Conduct for staff and elected leadership which the General Secretary violated on the use of the Federation’s Property, Assets and Resources: 6.1. A leader and or a staff member shall not make unauthorized use of any property, assets or other resources of the Federation for any personal reasons. 6.2. A leader and or a staff member shall only use the Federation’s property, assets or resources for activities associated with discharge of their duties, unless otherwise authorized; 6.3. The intellectual property and any work produced by a leader or a staff member of the Federation in the course of his or her leadership, employment or association with the Federation are exclusive property of the Federation; 7. Taking into account the COSATU Code of Conduct for staff and elected which the General Secretary violated on Discipline:
7.1. A leader and or staff member will strive for the maximum unity of purpose and functioning of the Federation;
7.2. A leader and or staff member will observe discipline, behave honestly and carry out decisions of the majority, of the collective and of higher bodies;
7.3. A leader and or staff member will respect decisions taken by the Federation in terms of its structures, whether or not he or she personally agrees with them and he/she will report such decisions in a positive manner to avoid undermining them;
7.4. A leader and or staff member will not behave in a manner that brings the Federation or its structures into disrepute or which manifests a flagrant violation of the moral integrity expected of a leader;
7.5. A leader and or staff member will refrain from publishing, leading and /or distributing any media, which purport to be the views of any organized grouping, faction or tendency within the Federation;
7.6. A leader and or staff member will defend the unity and integrity of the Federation and its principles and combat any tendency – towards disruption and factionalism. This includes combating propaganda detrimental to the interests of the Federation and defending its policies, aims and programmes.
- Noting the COSATU code of conduct for staff and elected leadership on the duty to avoid conflicts of interest when it says that:
8.1. Every leader and or staff member must:
8.1.1. Take every possible step to avoid a conflict of interest between his/her personal interest and the interests of the Federation;
8.1.2. not place himself or herself in a position where his or her personal interest could conflict with his or her duties to the Federation.
- Noting that:
9.1. Over the years the federation has been operating on the basis of trust and intergrity that those occupying positions of leadership will always respect collective decisions and will always act to advance the best interests of the federation
9.2. Based on this trust the federation has allowed individual leaders enough space to execute their tasks without hinderances and in the process this have created a space for the accumulation of unchecked power.
9.3. The General Secretary’s has in the recent past abused the trust given to him by the federation and workers affilliated to COSATU unions and he continues to do so with impunity whichcluminated to the unauthorised press conference of 29th March 2015, This rebelious conduct has broaght the federation into desrepute.( Please refer to item 1 above )
9.4. He has in the process behaved in a manner which placed him above the organisation , as an untouchable leader. He treated the organisation as his own , including the the COSATU leadership collective and the entire membership as his inferior subjects.
9.5. His behaviour has undermined all the efforts to achieve unity and cohession in the federation as facilitated by the ANC. Believing that:
9.6. No individual leader is above COSATU as an organisation and its constitution
9.7. Collective leadership, organisational discipline, trust , intergrity and revolutionary morality is the bedrock upon which COSATU ‘s work is predicated .
9.8. The General Secretary as part of the collective at the helm of ensuring the functionality of the federation has behaved in a manner which corroded the moral and revolutionary soul of the federation and undermined each of the principles stated above. 9.9. The General Secretary has behaved in a manner which reduces the federation to his own entity where he can do as he wish including negleting his duties, making public statements which puts the name of the federation into desrepute and has openly defied and undermined COSATU’s constitution. Based on the COSATU constitution on clause
10.4 on the removal of officials which says that:
10.4.1 The CEC may suspend or dismiss the General Secretary or any other official, if in the opinion of the CEC the official –
10.4.1.1. Has committed misconduct;
10.4.1.2. Has neglected his / her duties;
10.4.1.3. Has acted in a manner detrimental to the Federation; or
10.4.1.4. Has acted in a manner which conflicts with this Constitution.
10.4.2 The CEC or the NC may suspend or dismiss the General Secretary or any other official for any other reason deemed sufficient.
- The CEC concludes that the provisions of the COSATU constitution and the code of conduct for staff and leaders have been violated by the General Secretary.
10.1 The conduct of the General Secretary constitute gross misconduct 17. It is hereby resolved that:
10.1.1 Comrade Zwelinzima Vavi is dismissed as the General Secretary of COSATU with immediate effect.
10.1.2 He must return all the property of the federation with immediate effect of this resolution being communicated to him.
10.1.3 He must henceforth stop speaking on behalf of the federation as he is no longer the General Secretary of COSATU.
10.1.4 In an instance where comrade Zwelinzima Vavi wants to access the COSATU offices as part of clearing his office desk, he should do so in consultation with the National Office Bearers.
10.1.5 The National Office Bearers will work to ensure that the security of the federation’s communication and information is maximized. This will include ensuring that there are no interceptions and hacking of computers.
10.1.6 No structure of the federation shall be allowed to undermine this decision. This includes inviting him or creating platforms for him to address members affiliated to COSATU unions.
10.1.7 No staff member including Provincial Secretaries should take instructions from comrade Zwelinzima Vavi.
10.1.8 The National office Bearers will immediately communicate this decision to all our structures including the Alliance structures and our international bodies we are affiliated to .
10.1.9 Special Provincial Executive Committee meeting will be convened as a matter of urgency to communicate this decision.
10.1.10 All units of COSATU are instructed to henceforth stop using our media platform or any COSATU platforms to profile comrade Zwelinzima Vavi.
10.1.11 All staff members, particularly Provincial Secretaries of the federation and of our unions are instructed to desist from participating in comrade Zwelinzima Vavi’ led activities.
These are not consistent with the policies and decisions of the federation and they are intended to destroy and not to build COSATU.
10.1.12 The NOBs should continue to facilitate the work directed at achieving the unity of the federation. This includes coordinating activities and campaigns of the federation on the ground. Affiliates should continue to escalate the provision of quality service to members.
10.1.13 All outstanding allegations against the General Secretary will be processed by the National Office Bearers through a properly constituted task team which will be working with various experts.
Issued by: COSATU