Corruption Watch censures Vavi

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. (Thuli Dlamini, Gallo)

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. (Thuli Dlamini, Gallo)

On its website on Friday, Corruption Watch said it convened an urgent meeting during which it decided to censure board member and Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi for having an affair with a subordinate and her reported irregular appointment to the trade union federation.

"Mr Vavi was asked to address two issues, the process whereby the woman was appointed by Cosatu and the nature of his relationship with her," Corruption Watch said in the statement.

"In deliberating, the board was guided by what it considered to be in the best interests of Corruption Watch and the information it had before it and that is currently in the public domain."

Earlier this month, Vavi admitted to having an affair with a married junior employee.

Last week, the woman withdrew her sexual harassment grievance against him during a hearing.

Corruption Watch said it took into account the fact that any sexual relationship between a senior staff member and a junior member "is almost inevitably infected by the relationship of power that exists between them". It said senior staff members had a responsibility to avoid such relationships.

The organisation said it also took into account the "deplorable level" of gender violence and abuse in South Africa.

"Going forward, the board confirms that its members should at all times both in their public and private lives act consistently with the values of truth, integrity that are espoused by Corruption Watch and consistently with the Corruption Watch pledge."

Vavi was informed of the board's intention to relieve him of his duties, and he indicated his acceptance of the board's decision, the organisation said. 

Meanwhile, the Mail & Guardian reported last week Vavi's enemies in the trade union federation are planning to press for charges of misconduct to be brought against him after a rape allegation made against him was withdrawn.

Those who no longer support Cosatu's leader are apparently demanding that he face the music for bringing the organisation into disrepute. – Sapa, additional reporting by Staff Reporter

An earlier version of this story stated that Vavi was fired from Corruption Watch.
This was taken directly from a news agency and was factually incorrect. We apologise.

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