Vavi accuses Cosatu leaders of treason

By Drum Digital
18 April 2013

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi on Thursday accused unnamed leaders of the trade union federation of treason for feeding rumours to the media.

"At this stage I am of the view that there can be no common ground with those leaders who are sources. Either they succeed to divide and weaken [the Congress of SA Trade Unions] Cosatu or we expose and crush them," he said.

Vavi was addressing the National Union of Metalworkers of SA's (Numsa) bargaining conference in Pretoria.

He said divisions and back-stabbing had widened rifts and shifted the focus from the main concern of championing the cause of the down-trodden.

"Eventually, it may take months, or years but we shall defeat these individuals. I have no doubt about that. What they are doing is worse than committing treason."

He said he had repeatedly challenged his distracters to publicise evidence of crooked deals allegedly involving him.

"We say there is no investigation. They say 'there is something and he is going now'. If they have evidence about any form of allegation they would have given it to the newspapers long back," he said.

"I have challenged them 'bring it on, let's see'. The day you can prove that I betrayed the workers' trust by stealing from them, that's the day I don't deserve to be in the position I occupy. I will walk away."

Vavi rubbished reports alleging that he had been caught up in accusations of impropriety in the sale of Cosatu's old headquarters in Leyds Street, Braamfontein.

"I have asked that the sources provide newspapers with information showing that Vavi and his family benefited from the sale of the building.

"Last Sunday there were five articles on me, in different newspapers, [reporting that] there is an investigation and corruption," he said.

"In the end, it is not even the parasitic sections of capital, but the real ruling class that will be the main beneficiaries of these divisions the sources are promoting."

On employment equity, Vavi said the workforce in South Africa did not reflect the demographic profile of the country's population, of which blacks constituted 78.9 percent, whites 9.6 percent, coloureds 9.1 percent and Indians 2.9 percent.

"We are told that apparently in the [Democratic Alliance-led] Western Cape there is even a greater regression [on employment equity], particularly in Cape Town. They are going to the opposite of where the country is going," said Vavi.

"They are showing us a window of what to expect if they [the DA] were to win a national election. [That would be] the end of employment equity under the so-called equal opportunities. They say ‘forget about apartheid, [there are] equal opportunities."

-by Sapa

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