Fight for soul of Saftu is on as member unions threaten court action

Embattled trade union federation Saftu is set to face a legal battle over its decision to suspend four of its six national office bearers after it accused them of bringing the federation into disrepute.

Saftu’s national executive committee (NEC) said the union’s president Mac Chavalala, second deputy president Thabo Matsose, deputy general secretary Moleko Phakedi and national treasurer Motshwari Lecogo orchestrated the suspension of general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi earlier this month over accusations of abusing the federation’s credit card, among other things.

The NEC has reversed their decision and accused the four officers of acting outside of their powers in a bid to target Vavi and moved to suspend him.

The internal battle for the control of the federation comes as Saftu prepares for its national elective congress scheduled for May 22, with Vavi seeking a second term, which does not enjoy the backing of the federation’s biggest affiliate, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and its general secretary Irvin Jim.

Sowetan understands that four unions are planning to wage a legal battle against the decision to suspend the four officials, as they insist that they acted in line with the federation’s disciplinary code and procedures by instituting suspension proceedings against Vavi.

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