Vavi in talks with lawyers

FILE PICTURE: Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: Refilwe Modise

Suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi is discussing possible legal action against his employers and an auditing firm.

“He is consulting with his lawyers to determine what course of action to take against both the [auditing] firm and Cosatu,” Vavi’s spokesman John Dludlu said on Thursday.

“Until that consultation is complete we are not commenting on anything.”

On Wednesday, the Mail & Guardian reported that Vavi intended suing the Congress of SA Trade Unions and SizweNtsalubaGobodo for defamation after the release of a damning report against him.

The report by the firm found irregularities relating to the purchase of a new Cosatu building and the selling of the old one.

On Tuesday, acting Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said the auditors also found there was a conflict of interest on Vavi’s part as his daughter was employed by VMS – a company contracted by Cosatu to provide technology for a fingerprinting system.

Ntshalintshali said auditors also found there was a business partnership between VMS and Vavi’s wife.

Vavi told the newspaper he did nothing wrong.

He said it was unfair to hold him responsible over 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?”

Nehawu slammed Vavi’s comments about their member.

Spokesman Sizwe Pamla said Vavi was using Majola as a scapegoat.

“Every time issues about the possible conflict of interest have arisen… the comrade sought to use the name of the general secretary of Nehawu as a scapegoat…,” he said in a statement.

“The general secretary of Nehawu doesn’t live with, and has never at any stage lived with, comrade Zwelinzima’s stepdaughter.”

“Even if it was true by any stretch of the imagination what comrade Vavi alleges, the onus lies with him… to always act in a manner that is above reproach.”

Pamla said in this case, Vavi ought to have known better and informed relevant structures of Cosatu of a possible conflict.

Vavi was suspended last year after he admitted to having an affair with a junior employee. She had initially accused him of rape but had not laid charges with police.

– Sapa

today in print

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