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Contest for Vavi's position

By Zukile Majova | May 18, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

A NEW leadership race is under way within Cosatu, where union leaders are lobbying for support to replace outgoing general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

Sowetan has learnt the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa has launched a nationwide drive aimed at propelling its secretary, Irvin Jim, to take Vavi's position.

Vavi has indicated that he would not be available to continue in his position after 2012.

The race has apparently also created rivalry between two of Cosatu's biggest affiliates Numsa and the National Union of Mineworkers.

Jim and NUM secretary Frans Baleni have emerged as the leading contenders.

Baleni's supporters have told Sowetan that Jim was "too young" to lead the federation, while Jim's supporters suggested Baleni was "not radical enough" to lead.

Sowetan has also learnt that NUM lobbyists had suggested they would sacrifice the position of Cosatu first deputy president, which is held by its member Tyotyo James, to win Vavi's post.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said the reports about the succession race were "pure speculation".

He said Cosatu was confident that there was a depth of leadership in its unions to replace Vavi.


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