Johannesburg - The central executive committee of Satawu has decided to promote its deputy president June Dube to president in the wake of its former leader's resignation, the union said on Sunday.
SA Transport and Allied Workers Union general secretary Zenzo Mahlangu told reporters on the East Rand that the union's central executive committee (CEC) did not accept former president Ephraim Mphahlele's resignation.
"Mphahlele has actually not resigned from the union, but cowardly chickened out to avoid the special CEC investigation into his conduct," he said.
"The CEC has so far rejected his resignation and has expelled him and took away his membership from Satawu. This will also happen to his remaining few lieutenants posing as shop stewards while busy recruiting for the their anarchy union, Natawu (National Transport and Allied Workers Union)."
Natawu was formed by former Satawu Gauteng chairman Liver Mngomezulu and his deputy Reuben Molefe, after they were suspended from the union in June. Mphahlele resigned two weeks ago to join Natawu.
Mahlangu said Mphahlele had become frustrated with his lack of power in Satawu, and had created financial woes for the union before asking the department of labour to liquidate it.
"His idea was to mess the union up and then jump ship. He would then ask Satawu members to join the new union and say 'see, the house is burning'," he said.
Mahlangu also denied Mphahlele's claims that he resigned because of a plan within the union to have him assassinated.
"There is no evidence, and his claims have caused us a lot of pain," he said.
Mahlangu said the Congress of SA Trade Unions needed to maintain unity during its national conference next month, instead of focusing on "leadership contestations".
The trade union federation also had to deal with the "triple M challenge".
This related to challenges posed by former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema, the death of 34 mineworkers at Lonmin's
Marikana mine two weeks ago, and the ANC's elective conference in Mangaung at the end of the year.
Mahlangu said Satawu had resolved to support the current leadership of the ANC for a second term during the conference.
"Chopping and changing is not the way to go. We must maintain leadership," he said.
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