Cosatu cracks down on corruption

2011-06-26 10:42

Johannesburg - Labour federation Cosatu is ready to name and shame ­corrupt public officials and politicians through its new watchdog agency, Corruption Watch.

In a first for South Africa, the labour organisation will reveal its anti-corruption agency at this week’s four-day central committee meeting that starts tomorrow in Midrand.

Corruption Watch will officially be launched in December.

City Press understands that the former chairperson of the Competition Tribunal, David Lewis, was instrumental in the setting up of Corruption Watch and will be involved in its operation. Lewis declined to confirm or deny his role on Saturday, referring all queries to Vavi.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven also refused to be drawn on Lewis’ role, only responding: “Where did you hear that?”


Corruption Watch will be launched on December 9 to ­coincide with International Anti-Corruption Day.

Vavi said Corruption Watch, which will operate “at arm’s length from Cosatu”, will be run by an independent board.

People serving on it would do so in their individual capacity.

“We don’t want to create a ­Cosatu pseudo-bulldog. We want a genuinely independent institution to do the work.

“Cosatu members give us ­envelopes all the time about what they regard as fraud and corruption. We want to build ­capacity to scratch beyond the surface when we receive those envelopes. That’s the purpose of launching the Corruption Watch,” he said.

Report corruption

According to a secretariat ­report Vavi will table before ­Cosatu’s central committee meeting, Corruption Watch will:

» Act as a safe haven where whistle-blowers can report ­corruption;
» Investigate alleged corruption and hand over its dossiers of “prima facie evidence” of ­corruption to the authorities;
» Initiate civil litigation against individuals and institutions implicated in corruption;
» Run advocacy campaigns to spread awareness about corruption and promote good governance; and
» Carry out research into ­corruption and establish relationships with similar international bodies.

The institution, Vavi said, would also scrutinise reports by the auditor-general and national treasury on suspended public servants.

Corruption Watch will push for faster action to be taken against suspended officials so that they don’t remain on the state’s payroll for long periods.

“We want to look closely at how many of them are suspended for fraud – for corruption and tender fraud, in particular. Surely society needs to know what happens to them.

“That’s the type of work that Corruption Watch will expose. Once it gives us the information, we can go to the streets and boardrooms and say: How dare you keep a potential fraudster ­suspended for three years without any decisive action on your part?” Vavi said.

Public sector corruption

City Press understands that Cosatu will use the fight against corruption as the condition on which it will decide whether to support President Jacob Zuma in his bid for a second term as ANC president at the party’s Mangaung conference next year.

Although the federation was instrumental in lobbying for the closure of the Scorpions, Cosatu – and Vavi, in particular – has been vocal on public sector ­corruption in recent months.

Craven denied that Corruption Watch was meant to fill the vacuum left by the scrapping of the Scorpions.

“Corruption existed when the Scorpions were there and ­continued afterwards,” he said.

The federation has spoken out against the handling of ­corruption cases in:

» Mpumalanga, where whistleblowers have allegedly been ­assassinated;
» The Northern Cape, where ANC chairperson John Block is embroiled in a corruption trial; and
» Limpopo, the home province of ANC Youth League leader ­Julius Malema, where allegations of corruption have been levelled against the health and social development department.


Vavi has also publicly crossed swords with the Gupta family, whose business dealings he has criticised; Siphiwe Nyanda, ­Zuma’s parliamentary adviser and former communications minister; and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka, against whom allegations of corruption have been levelled.

Vavi’s secretariat report ­denies that the push against ­corruption is aimed at political opponents, saying “the fight against corruption has to target culprits regardless of their political affiliations or ideologies”.

  • truerealist - 2011-06-26 10:54

    Good to see someone is tacking this issue. Long may it live and root out this scourge that is costing the country billions.

      gawie.botha - 2011-06-26 11:48

      Sou hierdie inligting waar wees,en dit sal tot uitvoering kom,kan Vavi verseker wees van my heelhartige ondersteuning! Dit kan my dalk dan tot ander insigte laat kom oor die "meerderheids bevolking"!

      cliffarc - 2011-06-26 12:00

      - Great - start at the top with Zuma. Say's a lot for the Anc's attitude to corruption, with Cosatu having to take the initiative. Alas, this will go nowhere, knowing the Anc's control and influence over the judiciary.

      Ldn_saffa - 2011-06-26 12:28

      Brace yourselves people, this is going to be one 'very long' list!! Maybe they should just list the people in government who aren't corrupt, that way they could keep the list short and simple??

  • Lekabisto - 2011-06-26 11:06

    My guess is this will be a smoke screen for the public, and will deal with the little fish while the big fish swim happily in corruption. if I am at all wrong and it is actually effective, we are again going to watch it being disbanned infront of our eyes and be incorporated into an even bigger corrupt SAPS....can someone say "SCORPIONS"

  • Macho Mike - 2011-06-26 11:07

    Eish, i bet they would need not a list of names, but a book of names! Starting with the man in charge of the Government no doubt........

  • Slapper - 2011-06-26 11:08

    About time that an organization with some clout does something. Corruption is totally out of hand here and is the one thing that will bring this country to its knees.

  • BigMoose - 2011-06-26 11:13

    Crack down on corruption and still consider supporting Zuma for another term in office? How can this be taken seriously, particularly when COSATU was instrumental in disbanding the Scorpions? Another bad joke. Pull the other leg, Vavi. No Bells for you.

      cliffarc - 2011-06-26 12:05

      - Right on BigMoose.

  • derkus - 2011-06-26 11:18

    why wait till December I am sure you could name a few now

  • c1 - 2011-06-26 11:24

    I endorse this 110%!

  • Ian - 2011-06-26 11:27


  • ian.d.samson - 2011-06-26 11:33

    What's that? A conflict of interests? Ha ha, COSATU and CORRUPTION used in the same sentence but having opposite meanings? Never! Perhaps more realistically, should be CORRUPTION WATCH cracks down on COSATU, more like it!

  • Eric West - 2011-06-26 11:42

    Just another hollow threat! Whatever happened to the "lifestyle audit" that COSATU threatened to undertake, more than two years ago? Ja, no, well, fine!

  • crackerr - 2011-06-26 11:42

    Cosatu, Be consistent. If you are serious you will have to point fingers at some big fish in the arms deal and the events surrounding the withdrawal of certain criminal charges against some BIG fish. You have managed to belittle yourselves with your empty undertakings. We are still waiting for the mass action you have promised if electricity prices were to increase. No wonder you cannot be taken all that seriously. Why wait with the names? You must surely by now have sufficient information to start with the revelations immediately. Or is this also nothing more than your customary big mouth publicity stunts? The ANC has actually spoken to you through Julius Malema. You are no longer welcome in the ANC. What more indication do you need of how disposable you have become?

  • crackerr - 2011-06-26 11:48

    Many of us are still waiting for your other boss Blade Nzimande to undergo a lie detector test concerning the money in black plastic bags in the boot of a car. He and his accuser should both undergo that test. A test conducted by independent experts and preferably over radio or one of the current affair programs on TV. Let Cosatu also deal with that issue.

  • Shlin - 2011-06-26 11:53

    Excellent! Hope it works. Not good when our hard earned taxes get shoved into the wrong hands.

  • Henry - 2011-06-26 11:55

    Are they going to fire most of the public servants and replace them with more corrupted employees? Should they not start with parlement?

  • BOFFINBOB - 2011-06-26 12:41

    Name & shame ! These people have no shame & could'nt give a hoot. Zuma has already been named & " shamed " & he is President ! What a country ?

      brown_bread - 2011-06-27 10:45

      Took words right out of my mouth! The naming and shaming will only end there. For me it would be a big deal if they would start shaming and questioning the progress on the 'prosecution' of those who are already named - going back a few years now.

  • Marcell - 2011-06-26 12:55

    Simple, Just ask the DA. They have all the names.

  • sainsaudi - 2011-06-26 13:15

    Why the parallel organisation? The DA have had such an organisation for a number of years.Methinks it's about power-grabbing and smearing the present regime so that somebody can be the crown prince. The intentions are honourable, but within the Tripartite Alliance, it makes no sense. Such an organisation is bound to serve its political masters.

  • onetickie - 2011-06-26 14:06

    There is proof out there about such huge corruption and where people are named but problem is NO ACTION IS TAKEN, NO EFFORT TO GET THE MONEY THEY ACQUIRED ILLEGALLY. What the point of just talking. When anyone guilty all assets/immovable property should be frozen. The guilty should be forced to return to their grass roots where they had nothing. Put them back in their shacks amongst the people they denied a better life because of their corruption

      allie - 2011-06-26 16:18

      And who does Vavi want to impress now?I he is so serious about corruption ,why didn`t he support the Scorpions.?PROPPEGAANDAAA!!!!!

  • thobsa malope - 2011-06-26 17:02

    Go Cosatu, go!

  • Heidi - 2011-06-26 19:37

    haha....what a joke.First get them into goverment.....then investigate them for corruption.

  • shatzi - 2011-06-26 23:47

    If these goons are so concerned about corruption then why are they in bed with the anc

  • pages:
  • 1