/ 9 September 2013

Vavi concerned over alleged abuse of state agencies

Suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.
Suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. (Gallo)

"Mr Vavi, whose name was featured in a fictitious telephone transcript purporting to be part of an intelligence report, is concerned that state agencies might be abused to smear individuals and further factionalist politics within the progressive forces including the working class," Vavi family spokesperson John Dludlu said.

He said Vavi and inspector general of intelligence Faith Radebe met on Monday morning to discuss a complaint he had lodged.

Last month, after his suspension from Cosatu, Vavi claimed at a media briefing that the union's president Sidumo Dlamini had circulated an "intelligence report", which aimed to "destroy" him.

Dludlu said the meeting was called by Radebe, who was accompanied by oversight officer Mpho Nchabeleng, officials Carl Lebitso and Mandla Nene and legal adviser Jay Govender.

Vavi said he had not filed the complaint only because of himself or what had been done to Cosatu's unity, but also for the other people whose names appeared in the document. "I did so because our Constitution explicitly frowns upon such apparent abuse of authority," he said in the statement.

Special leave
Last month, Cosatu announced that Vavi had been put on special leave pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing relating to an affair he had with a junior employee. In July, the employee accused him of rape. He admitted to having a consensual affair with her. The woman subsequently withdrew a sexual harassment complaint against him.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), an ally of Vavi, said last week that it had served Cosatu with legal papers challenging his suspension. The Food and Allied Workers' Union and South African Football Players' Union were co-applicants.

Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim said Numsa wanted Cosatu to rescind and uplift the "unconstitutional and unprecedented" suspension of Vavi. – Sapa