Vavi cries foul following release of audit report

FILE PICTURE: Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: Neil McCartney

Trade union federation Cosatu could have committed a defamation blunder if it turns out that its suspended general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was not accorded a fair opportunity to reply to an audit report that made damning findings against him.

The outspoken Vavi cried foul yesterday during numerous interviews he had on radio, saying that his rights were being abused by the auditors who presented Cosatu’s central executive committee (CEC) with the findings of the report.

Speaking to The Citizen yesterday, constitutional expert Shadrack Gutto said if it was a credible and independent investigation, Vavi was supposed to have been asked to produce documents detailing his reply to the findings before the report could be handed to Cosatu’s CEC.

“Questions should have been asked of Vavi to ensure that he responds and I strongly believe that is what auditors need to do.

“If Vavi’s claim is correct, then it means the matter would have been handled in an unfair manner, and therefore he (Vavi) should be given his basic right to reply,” he said.

Gutto stressed: “If Cosatu has nothing to hide, let them give the other person who is accused of wrongdoing a right to reply.

“Cosatu needs to come clean in giving confidence to the public that due process was followed in dealing with the matter. If it is proven that they were wrong, it could be prove to be a defamation blunder on their part,” Gutto added.

A Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo forensic report commissioned by Cosatu found irregularities in the purchase and sale of Cosatu’s old and new headquarters buildings.

Acting Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said there was also a conflict of interest arising from the employment of Vavi’s stepdaughter by a company linked to the Braamfontein building.

today in print

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