Vavi's letter to intelligence boss

By Drum Digital
23 October 2013

Suspended COSATU general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has written an open letter accusing police boss Chris Ngcobo of abusing state resources.

Zwelinzima Vavi: Comrades and friends I feel I should be more honest regarding this morning's comment on General Chris Ngcobo. I know him not as a friend but as a comrade who I interacted with whilst he was still the body guard of the President in particular during the campaign leading to Polokwane in 2007. He is currently acting as the Head of Crime Intelligence for SA. (Acting in the place of the suspended General Mdluli) You will recall that the COSATU 11th National Congress last year was not easy in terms of unity and cohesion of the federation. For months before the congress individuals within a group of unions chose to speak to the media assource advancing an argument and telling all those who cared to listen that they were going to remove me as the General Secretary.  The unions that were being mentioned in the media to be leading this campaign was my own NUM, NEHAWU, SADTU and POPCRU. Indeed these union Presidents and General Secretaries did not nominate me to my position but nominated everyone else. Everyone knows what happened in that congress. I was nominated by othersand no other nomination was received for the position so I was elected unopposed not withstanding the media campaign by the sources. At the congress itself the delegates demonstrated strong support for me, for which I remain indebted.  The very next week when I was on holiday in Pietermaritzburg following rather a difficult congress, I was called by my PA and eventually two Generals I don't know telling me to return back to Johannesburg for an urgent meeting with General Chris Ngcobo. I cut the holiday short and returned. I met him in my office. He told me that they have picked up information that the Iranian intelligence operating in SA are recruiting people I work closely with in the civil society formations to poison me or to kill me. He told me according to their information I should have been poisoned on the 20 September 2012 the day I was scheduled to do a lecture on Oscar Mpetha in Cape Town. It is true I was supposed to have done this lecture on the same date but we had to reschedule since it clashed with COSATU NC dates. General Ngcobo also told me that one of my two body guards have been recruited to inform on all my movements. He did not know which of one of the two, but promised to revert in a week or two. He offered to take over my security whilst they are still investigation. He did not know which person in the Gift of the Givers was recruited to poison or kill me. He did not know why Iranians would be interested in killing a trade unionist in SA who have championed on behalf of his organisation a struggle against imperialism. He promised to provide me answers to all these questions in a week or two.  Weeks and months passed without him providing me with information I so desperately needed. He ignored calls and a text message. During March someone leaked this to the Sunday Times. Not even this story moved him to come back to me. I decided to go public on this during June/July this year. Only then did he contact my PA to arrange a meeting. He also contacted me to say he need to brief me. At that time my mind was made up that there was no truth in the whole storyand I was no longer interested in a meeting 10 months down the line. Someone in his office told the media that after analysing the threat they discovered there was no threat to my life. I am of the firm view that this activity together with another one I will tell you about (the bogus intelligence report circulated by the COSATU President) forms part of the factional abuse of state resources to tarnish the image of political opponents. I have reported this matter to the Inspector General of Intelligence (ombudsman) Ambassodor Faith Radebe who is currently investigating both issues. Infuture I will inform you about another death threat before this, which I received in June 2010. This too I reported but till today no response! I was not seeking attention when I told the media that my life is in danger.

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