Vavi accused of spending Cosatu money

2014-01-19 11:47
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi is accused of having splashed out R35 000 of the federation’s money on flying his wife and ex-wife around South Africa.

According to the Sunday Times, this is one of the nine charges that will form part of his disciplinary hearing. The 33-page charge sheet was handed to him last week and shows that a Cosatu credit card was used on several occasions to pay for flights and accommodation for his family and for a "body therapist" at a hotel in Braamfontein.

Among the trips was one for his wife, Noluthando. She flew from Johannesburg to Cape Town in 2012 to attend the Cape Town Jazz festival. It cost Cosatu R7 180. In addition, Cosatu paid R14 128 for Vavi and his wife to stay at a boutique hotel while attending the festival.

Other flights included return trips for his wife from Cape Town to Kimberley, from Johannesburg to East London and between Johannesburg and Cape Town. Cosatu was also billed for return flights for Vavi’s ex-wife Nikiwe, and son Aphelele, from Johannesburg to Durban.

On Saturday, however, Vavi claimed that charges against him were leaked to the media to "conduct a media trial".

Charge sheet

Vavi received a charge sheet from the trade union federation on Tuesday, five months after being put on special leave.

"Finally, after five months since his illegal suspension, Mr Vavi has received a charge sheet from Cosatu with all manner of allegations against him," his spokesperson John Dludlu said.

"We are in consultation with both our lawyers and allies within and outside the federation on the way forward."

Dludlu would not comment further on the matter.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said he could not comment on internal matters.

Vavi was put on special leave in August pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing relating to his affair with a junior employee.

In July, the employee accused him of rape. He said they had an affair. The woman subsequently withdrew a sexual harassment complaint against him.

There were also allegations of corruption against Vavi, involving the sale of the trade union federation's headquarters in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

Following Vavi's suspension the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), an ally of his, lodged an application in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg challenging his suspension. Vavi then lodged papers to be added as an applicant in Numsa's challenge.

In these, he asks the court to grant him an interim order interdicting and restraining Cosatu from enforcing any decision taken at its central executive committee meeting in August.

He wants final relief to review and set aside the decision to suspend him and institute disciplinary proceedings.

In November, Cosatu said Vavi's disciplinary investigation was almost finished.

Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini said a number of issues were being investigated. These included employment, Cosatu's recruitment policy, the name of the employee being given to the media, and power relations in Cosatu's office.

"The investigation uncovered other things which need further investigation. It cannot be an overnight thing," Dlamini said at the time.

"It is not the fault of Cosatu. It is not the fault of investigators that there is a delay."

He said the investigators needed those involved to co-operate.


 
Read more on:    cosatu  |  zwelinzima vavi
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