State security says it has no knowledge of the Vavi report and is sure South African intelligence agencies were not involved in its creation.
The latest institution to distance itself from the so-called "Vavi report" is the ministry of state security, which has denied being involved in its authoring.
A spokesperson for the ministry, Brian Dube, told the Mail & Guardian on Sunday that the ministry had no knowledge of "that so-called report" – an intelligence report made public on Friday by embattled Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi on Friday.
Vavi said he feared the report – which contains allegations of US funding to various organisations and persons including Vavi, allegedly to undermine the South African government – was evidence that state agencies had been used to target individuals.
He addressed the press on Friday shortly after his suspension from Cosatu on Wednesday. The suspension was triggered by Vavi's affair with a Cosatu staffer, and the rape allegations that stemmed from it.
Vavi said he had acquired the report last Saturday but remained unclear about its origins.
"We will also write a letter to the inspector general who is the intelligence ombud to ask him to investigate if state institutions have not been abused to divide workers' organisations and smear individuals," Vavi told reporters last week.
'We don't know anything'
Dube said this was the correct channel for Vavi to follow. He said the ministry of state security would also wait for the inspector general's report, but he remained confident that the report did not originate from the South African intelligence agencies.
He said the agencies heard of the report for the first time on Friday.
"We don't know anything about that report," Dube said.
Vavi accused his enemies in Cosatu – particularly Cosatu president S'dumo Dlamini – of circulating the report to discredit him and ensure his suspension from the organisation.
Dlamini could not be reached for comment on Sunday. But he told the City Press that he would not be commenting on the report, as Vavi intends challenging his suspension through the courts. The report could thus form part of a mounted legal challenge.
A number of those mentioned in the report have also slammed it as "rubbish" – according to a City Press report this weekend. They include Julius Malema, former prosecutions boss Vusi Pikoli, and former director general in the presidency, Frank Chikane.
South African nongovernmental organisations were also being funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the report alleged, to embarrass the South African government.
Justices at the Constitutional Court were being paid by the NED to achieve the same goals, via accounts in the Cayman Islands, according to the report.
The report appears to be a collection of the musings of one agent, seemingly working for the NED but acting as a mole to whoever compiled the report. The author sometimes asks if the person he is writing for will ensure his security.
But there is no evidence to suggest that the report is legitimate. Vavi himself seemed convinced that the report was bogus, although he believed its contents to be serious enough that his enemies might use them to topple him.
In the mean time, various agencies have tried to distance themselves from the report.
The US embassy in Pretoria took to Twitter to defend itself: "The US has a strong record of supporting civil society, but we do not fund political parties or those who urge violence." It said the NED was a non-profit organisation, independent from the US government, but funded by Congress.
The report also alleged that the NED gave Mamphela Ramphele R500-million – an accusation the new political party called "laughable".
Agang South Africa spokesperson, Thabo Leshilo, said: "There is not a word of truth about Agang SA in this laughable, fake document. We have not received R500-million from anyone. This so-called intelligence report reads more like a cheap B movie spy script that screams ANC paranoia and fear."
Meanwhile, Cosatu-affiliated unions remain divided on the reasons behind Vavi's removal, although his allies were quick to call his removal "unconstitutional" on Friday.
The National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) said Vavi's removal is part of a wider plot by right-wingers to destabilise the working class and render the trade unions toothless.
Numsa's national office bearers, in a joint statement, said: "The unconstitutional Cosatu special central executive committee meeting held on the 14 August 2013 was an opportunistic attempt to escalate this issue into a factional one, as we have predicted.
"As Numsa, we are clear that there are attempts to divide the federation, to ensure that the federation fails to implement its radical programme, and to reduce the federation into a labour desk of the bourgeoisie. We will continue to resist this ideological and political degeneration of our federation.
"We still maintain that, independent of whether Vavi remains the general secretary of Cosatu or not, there is an irreparable ideological rupture in the federation. This rupture is fundamentally between those who want a toothless Cosatu and those who want the federation to continue to advance the interests of the poor."
The Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) met at the weekend to discuss what it also calls an "unconstitutional and unsanctioned" move to suspend Vavi. It is expected to announce the outcomes of the meeting at a press conference on Monday.
Fawu general secretary Katishi Masemola said only a special congress of Cosatu could undo the current impasse in relation to Vavi.
"Fawu remains of a view that the current impasse, super-imposed or engineered, by those standing to benefit as individuals or as 'career-ambitious' politicians can only be resolved by a special congress of Cosatu that should ideally be preceded by special congresses of all affiliated unions, where possible," said Masemola.