Mrs Vavi and the pension funds: Zwelinzima Vavi responds

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi responds to reports of his wife being paid R60 000 a month to market financial products to union members.

On whether he is aware of wife Noluthando’s contract with SA Quantum:
Yes I am aware that my wife is doing consultancy work for SA Quantum.

Veon Bock, CEO of financial-services company SA Quantum, offered Mail & Guardian reporter Matuma Letsoalo R120 000 to suppress his story about regular payments to Noluthando Vavi. We caught him on camera as an associate handed over R40 000

Nowhere [in the contract is it stated that she will be doing] “marketing of the company in the labour union movement, Cosatu and its affiliates”. In my view there is no conflict of interest at all. Cosatu has no relationship with SA Quantum and if it did that would constitute a conflict of interest indeed. The provident funds of workers are controlled by workers and employers who have a 50-50 representation in the board in terms of the law. My wife has no relationship with any of the provident fund boards. I have no direct relationship with any provident fund board that has a relationship [with] SA Quantum. As far as I know no union is able to dictate to the boards of the provident funds in which company their monies should be administered. These decisions are left to the boards controlled by workers and employers.

On whether there is a conflict of interest between Noluthando’s business interests and his union work, and why he did not declare her company among his assets:
“I have no personal business interest. I am not registered in any company as a director. Noluthando has a consultancy company called Zwelothando. She had that interest by the time we were married. I married her not because of her consultancy interests or business interests. I am not going to instruct her to withdraw from consultancy or even business because she is married to me. I don’t seek to control anyone in that manner. The only interest I have is that there should be no conflict of interest with Cosatu and/or with government. This is so precisely because if she was to win any contract with Cosatu and/or government this will raise a question as to whether she won it because she has my surname or is related to me instead of winning it above board. I have an agreement with her that she should never do any business with either Cosatu or government. I am satisfied that SA Quantum indeed has no relationship with Cosatu and therefore the conflict of the interest issue does not arise.”

On Veon Bock’s attempt to buy the silence of the M&G:
“I must state categorically that this [the attempted bribe] has nothing to do with me and the person best suited to answer your question will be the one who offered you money. Veon Bock has no reason to protect either me or Zwelothando in this regard — there is no conflict of interests, there is no scandal.”

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