Baleni denies planting Vavi’s rape accuser

Addressing a press briefing on Monday following NUM’s national executive committee meeting at the weekend, Baleni said claims made on social media that he planted the woman accusing Vavi of rape, were untrue.

Baleni is associated with a powerful faction in Cosatu unhappy with Vavi's repeated criticism of government and the ANC.

"I don’t know this person [Vavi's accuser]. I never planted anyone. I never opened anyone's zip.  You can not stretch this theory on things that are unfounded," said Baleni.

Vavi announced on Monday afternoon that the rape complainant withdrew her grievance against him just two hours into the internal Cosatu process set up to investigate the matter.

"I am pleased that the grievance has been finalised. I hope that we all can put this saga behind us so that we all can concentrate on the real issues of the day – ensuring that we have a vibrant trade union federation that promotes South Africa, the interests of workers and the working class as a whole," said Vavi.

Vavi said he would not withdraw the charge of extortion.

"In light of the extreme damage that has been done to my reputation, I will consult with my lawyers to consider any further actions about this matter," he said.

To Vavi's defence
NUM deputy president Piet Matosa, who attended the press briefing following the union’s national executive committee meeting over the weekend, defended Baleni.

"As the NUM, we are not part of that and we will not be part of that [planting Vavi’s accuser] in future. We have been observing the attack against our general secretary [Baleni]. No leader of NUM will be part of this," said Matosa.

Asked whether he shared the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa’s (Numsa) views that the rape allegations against Vavi were politically motivated, Baleni said it would be premature to judge the matter before all internal processes by Cosatu were exhausted.

“We are not criticising anyone involved in a sex scandal. It would be premature to make judgments when you don’t have facts. We will wait for the internal process to complete,” said Baleni.

Baleni said there was no link between the sex scandal and the commission of inquiry investigating allegations of financial impropriety against Vavi.

Baleni said he did not know of any Cosatu policy regulating “who should sleep with whom”?

“All what I know is that we have a sexual harassment policy like any other company,” said Baleni

Numsa’s Wits central regional secretary Sizwe Dlamini said he was convinced Vavi’s detractors in Cosatu, were behind the sex scandal.

“We remain suspicious that the alleged rape claim is part of a dirty tactic intended to destroy comrade Vavi by his political opponents within Cosatu. The timing of this claim is worrying and it reinforces our long held view that a sinister campaign is being used to push-out comrade Vavi from his elected position for narrow political and selfish ends,” said Dlamini. 

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Matuma Letsoala
Guest Author

Related stories

October 7 strike: ‘Lukewarm’ action amid Covid-19 crisis?

After months of little action, the planned nationwide stayaway may not be an impressive show of force by the trade union movement

Eskom must lead the energy shift

Any plans to change from coal-fired power to renewable and affordable electricity must include turning the power utility into a true public entity

Unions vow to push ‘battle for survival’ at SAA

The Labour Court dismisses an application by Numsa and Sacca to have planned job cuts at SAA scrapped

Cyril’s style is to inspire the nation

His visionary pragmatism and his aim – together with SA’s citizens — is to build a capable state

Where will neoliberalism end?

LONG READ As the world was overtaken by upheaval last year, one photo emerging from the uprisings depicts...

Vavi asks Amcu for unity

The Saftu general secretary addressed thousands of delegates at Amcu's national elective congress on Thursday

Subscribers only

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

More top stories

Hawks swoop down with more arrests in R1.4-billion corruption blitz

The spate of arrests for corruption continues apace in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape.

Catholic NGO boss accused of racism and abuse in Sudan

The aid worker allegedly called his security guard a ‘slave’

Agrizzi too ill to be treated at Bara?

The alleged crook’s “health emergency” — if that is what it is — shows up the flaws, either in our health system or in our leadership as a whole

SANDF hid R200m expenditure on ‘Covid’ drug it can’t use

Military health officials are puzzled by the defence department importing a drug that has not been approved for treating coronavirus symptoms from Cuba

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday