/ 27 February 2014

Cosatu: Forensic report on Vavi is final

Cosatu suspended general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.
Cosatu suspended general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

Cosatu on Thursday said the forensic report on its suspended general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi is the final one on the matter.

"The central executive committee [CEC] adopted that legal report and it's a final report," acting secretary general Bheki Ntshalintshali told reporters in Johannesburg.

President Sidumo Dlamini said the report was presented to the trade union federation so it could study it with its lawyers.

The report relates to irregularities in the sale of the old Cosatu House.

Besides the selling and buying of Cosatu's old and new buildings, the auditors also 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.

Vavi's reactions
The service provider, VMS, provided technology for the fingerprinting system, among other services, at Cosatu's new premises in Braamfontein.

The auditors also found a conflict of interest with regard to the business partnership between VMS and Vavi's wife.

In terms of two companies, Kopano ke Matla (KKM) and Cubah properties, which Cosatu owned, there were apparent irregularities with regard to the KKM chief executive officer and the board of directors of Cubah properties.

Vavi opposed the report, saying he was not afforded the opportunity to comment on it.

Meanwhile, Vavi said he was planning to sue the federation and auditing firm Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo for defamation after Cosatu made public the auditing firm's damning findings against him.

Speaking to the Mail & Guardian on February 11, Vavi rejected the Sizwe Ntsaluba report.

"I only became aware of the negative findings at 5pm on Monday. My right has been violated by Gobodo and Cosatu. How does [Cosatu president] Sdumo Dlamini explain that? He goes to the media and says there are findings against me. There can be no worst form of defamation," said Vavi. He said if there were irregularities in the purchase of the new Cosatu building, all Cosatu leaders, including Dlamini, should account for that.

"If they go for me, they will have to go for everyone within the central executive committee of Cosatu, including the president. The CEC managed the whole thing politically. They [Cosatu] can't act as if they don't know," said Vavi.

Vavi argued at the time that it would be unfair to hold him responsible regarding the employment of his daughter by VMS.

"The child is not staying with me. I can't take responsibility why she was employed … She stays with [general secretary of the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union]? Slovo [Fikile] Majola. The young lady explained everything [to the auditors] and how she met with Slovo. Why turn around and say I am conflicted?" 

Vavi's spokesperson John Dludlu at the time said that while Vavi co-operated fully with the numerous parallel investigations he had been subjected to in the last 12 months, he 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." – Sapa, additional reporting by Matuma Letsoalo