Vavi will resign if graft found

2013-03-01 00:00

COSATU general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said he would step down if the allegations of graft against him are true.

He also added that “independent persons” would be brought in to facilitate discussions on issues raised at Cosatu’s central executive committee meeting this week, following a report tabled by union presidents and general secretaries.

Vavi told journalists at a press conference yesterday that the federation’s central executive committee “strongly condemned the factional leaking of internal debates which get twisted in the media” at its meeting this week.

He has denied that he was under investigation “for financial impropriety or any other reason”, but blamed the rumour on people who wanted to “create havoc in the organisation”. Vavi also said people took what happened in the “robust meeting, twist it and they add curry and spices to make it appear as if here is a big scandal in the offing and this person is conducting himself in this fashion”.

This follows a Mail & Guardian report that the federation’s central executive committee called for Vavi to be investigated for alleged corruption in the acquisition of Cosatu’s new headquarters and for being involved in Mamphela Ramphele’s party political platform, Agang.

Vavi challenged anybody with “hard information” to put the facts on the table, saying he would step down if it were true “because I would have lost all credibility to lead Cosatu’s campaign against corruption”.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini defended Vavi and refused to answer specific questions on the acquisition of Cosatu’s new headquarters, saying it was irrelevant because there was no investigation.

Dlamini said the discussions that would be facilitated by an independent person were “internal”.

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