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Vavi won't comment on Cosatu report

Karabo Ngoepe

Suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says he will not respond to the merits of a forensic report released as he had not seen it.

Suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. (Gallo)

Suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi will not respond to the merits of a forensic report released on Tuesday, his spokesperson said.

John Dludlu said Vavi had not seen the report or discussed its findings. "Therefore, we are not commenting on the [de]merits of the 'report' at this stage," he said.

A forensic audit conducted by SizweNtsalubaGobodo found irregularities in the sale of the old Cosatu House. "The CEC [central executive committee] reviewed a final report by auditors SizweNtsalubaGobodo on conclusion of their investigation into allegations," Cosatu acting general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali told reporters in Johannesburg.

Besides the selling and buying of Cosatu's old and new buildings, the auditors probed a possible conflict of interest concerning Vavi and his stepdaughter. She was employed by a service provider doing business with the trade union federation.

The service provider, VMS, provided technology for the fingerprinting system, among other services, at Cosatu's new premises in Braamfontein. The auditors found a conflict of interest in regards to the business partnership between VMS and Vavi's wife.

Ambush
Dludlu said while Vavi co-operated fully with the numerous parallel investigations he had been subjected to in the last 12 months, they found it curious that the investigators elected to ambush him by not sharing their findings with him. 

"We place on record that Mr Vavi was given an undertaking by the facilitators that he would be afforded a chance to comment on any findings against him and his comments would form part of the final report."

Dludlu said the actions appeared to demonstrate bias, unprofessional conduct and a misunderstanding of and lack of appreciation for the seriousness of the matter at hand and the implications thereof.

"We believe Mr Vavi has been clearly denied proper right to be heard by the forensic firm in discussing the report with the Cosatu central executive committee prior to his comments on its findings," he said.

Vavi will be consulting his lawyers. – Sapa

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