Vavi questions 'bling' lifestyles

2012-02-23 22:35

Johannesburg - Congress of SA Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi questioned his own lifestyle, and those of senior officials at the Numsa national political commission on Thursday.

Waving his hand at the long, silver Audi A7 TDI which had driven him to the meeting, he said: "Look at that car outside. Look at the laptops and the iPads when we go to Parliament, and look at what we are wearing.

"Check where we are staying. And then look at the conditions of the working class South African of today. Look at the taxis they ride in... how they stand eight hours in a queue at a hospital for a Panado.

He said when political consciousness disappeared, it left silently.

"When dictatorship comes, there will be no drum majorettes in the street."

He stopped his speech several times, to indicate he could not speak as freely as he would have liked with the media present. At one point he interrupted himself to say: "And I''m not saying this is a dictatorship."

He wanted to know "what is going on?" when union administrators left at 16:00, after checking their nails and spraying perfume, then rushed home to the suburbs to watch the soap opera, the Bold and the Beautiful.

He also could not understand on whose behalf some leaders thought they were sipping champagne for.

The ANC and unions needed to have a private debate, but not in front of the media, on the future of the movement that brought liberation to South Africa. He warned 2012 would be a troublesome year in South African politics.

"Let's face it comrades, the reason why we are anticipating to have such a troubled year in 2012 is because the conscience is going fast, fast, fast. The biggest challenge we are going to be facing is how do we stop the organisation from descending into a morass of corruption and eventually irrelevance."

The ANC would elect its new leadership at a conference in December. Cosatu had already resolved that the leadership collective that was formed in 2007 at Polokwane should not be broken, and that resolutions taken there should be built on, Vavi said.

  • jannie.barnard - 2012-02-23 22:49

    Viva Vavi Viva !

      Etienne - 2012-02-23 23:33

      Vavi Vavi Vavi ! :p

      Max - 2012-02-24 05:17

      The ANC will never become irrelevant while they are in power because their incompetence to govern this country is a massive destructive burden on the shoulders of the citizens.

      Ben - 2012-02-24 06:41

      At least someone knows the difference between right and wrong. Mr Vavi you know what should be done. More than half of the S.A. population will be behind you.

      Mike - 2012-02-24 07:52

      It's going to be scary when he answers himself!

      John - 2012-02-24 08:00

      Vavi, Vavi.... The wheel is turning back to May 2006 when you fulminate against Thabo Mbeki Zimbabwean-style dictatorship. Maybe you are suprised that someone will recal your name and the event? "Majorettes in the street" seems like is your only favorite quote.

      Ian - 2012-02-24 11:14

      What he is trying to say is that they treat the reserve bank like a winning lottery ticket: buy themselves nice stuff, treat their friends, squander all the money, and look for sympathy when it's all gone.

  • dnt07 - 2012-02-23 22:55

    I like what he says but as the old saying goes... Actions speak louder than words.

      Herman - 2012-02-24 07:41

      Vavi likes money to much, will never undermine the criminal and incompetent anc regime.

  • Cracker - 2012-02-23 22:55

    Vavi is trying to feather a new nest in new surroundings that he thinks will protect him. He knows he is in the process of losing it all. So turn on the trade union colleagues as well and blame them for all kinds of sins that Vavi has been guilty of while he thought he was sitting pretty. His mate - or ex-mate - the boss of the SACP will do exactly the same when the heat starts getting too much. Desperation setting in. Vavi realizes that his own support base may not be that resilient against the pressures coming and that many may drop him. The ANC loyalty base in the trade union movements seems strong. So play the sacrifice game - the sacrifice of others. Too late. Build your own protection walls. OR ARE YOU SO CALLOUS IN BS'ting people? You bunch of opportunists.

  • mary.kircher - 2012-02-23 22:56

    for once in my life I salute you Vavi ..... so when are you going to sell all your stuff and get down with the rest of us ?

      clivecorbz - 2012-02-24 07:22

      If you have access to the Internet, I think you might have misconceptions about "suffering with the masses".

  • Cracker - 2012-02-23 23:06

    The news article does not state that Vavi actually left in a taxi. He must have used the same luxury vehicle that he arrived in to leave. Is this country mad?

      miyo27 - 2012-02-24 11:41

      he said those things just to make himself look good. Just adding to his designer suits, expensive whiskey, luxury hotel soaps, fleet of luxury cars, breitling watches etc. all just a big show

  • John - 2012-02-23 23:12

    Zwelinzima Vavi .... That dust in the eyes for working class and their terrible conditions of living we've seen already. The books from where you got instructed (i doubt that you read them) are old like the world and those words are nothing than cliches in pre-election campaigns. When honorable Zwelinzima realized this situation? Today? Why is all that cuircus when YOU send all those workers on strike? What are you offering to working class? Your laptops and iPads?

  • Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-23 23:20

    well, i see a speach written extreemly well. everything he said is true and one should support it 100%, however, it is too little too late. all this, at this time, sounds just like a political rally. someone that will say the right things to get elected again. i do realy hopr it is genuine though, because then i will suppor him 100%

      John - 2012-02-23 23:54

      Demetrius, PASOK have done this trick also...dont't they? Just to remind you that Andreas Papandreou combined democratic socialism with Nationalism...and this is where South Africa is heading. Situation in South Africa is exaggerated with prejudiced loyalty to ANC and only ANC...and you know how is called? CHAUVINISM I don't know for who and how you going to vote, but comes to the famous joke of selecting watermelon from the pile of melons. My only 100% stays with metaxa...:)

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-24 08:23

      John, from your comment i am assuming you are a Hellene like myself. i am in the fortunate possition to follow the politics in both countries, SA and Hellas. it is true that PASOK followed the exact tactics in Hellas that the ANC is following here. it is like the ANC has taken a copy of the PASOK rules and started to apply then in SA. this is not unique to these two countries though, similar systems are get put in place in many countries world wide. i am the first to advocate that one should always cast your vote, however i am very sure that we do not have a political party here in SA that is good for the country and the people, same as they do not have one in Hellas. for some background info to readers that may not know, PASOK distroyed education in Hellas and simplyfied the Hellenic language with the pretext that it was too difficult for the children to learn. (we have spoken the language in this form since about 6,000 BC and written it in this form since at least 2,000 BC, and suddenly in 1981 it became difficult. Hellas moved over to outcomes based education from about the same time and by 1990 standards had dropped. he employed a very large number on civil servants and paid them lots on money even if they were useless, just to keep their loyalty and their vote. sad thing is they did become sheep and followed. he created a teaching workforce that became went on strikes and taught little so that they could give private lessons.

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-24 08:33

      then came the opposition, ND, and they just carried on with the ills of the past and also sat and collected. then came PASOK again and carried on. well here in SA we are still in the 1st stage, the ANC is still in its 1st term.

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-24 08:43

      ps. i see the last lines of my original post are missing, here they are. i realy do hope it is genuine though, because then i will support him 100% the sad thing is though that this is such a big IF that a 5 year old will find difficulty believing.

      John - 2012-02-24 09:28

      Demetrius, ANC and African way of democracy will not differ from any historical events in other countries with same ideology. What puzzles me most how ANC will plans to make state-owned enterprises with an open-market economy. Businesses who operate assets which nominally belong to the government. That is utopia and this is not China. If someone belives that nationalization is the way to go....good luck with "Chengbao system". South Africa with "Three Principles of the People" cannot succeed, where geting workforce from 08:00 - 17:00 dedicated is "impossible". If South Africa needs to follow the history between 1978-2005 of China...ANC will be cooked and eaten by its own people. This "Democratic Socialism" will not prevail, but the fails in history will be repeated. I hope that my predictions are wrong. ?? p?a?µat??? t?? ???µa µ?? e??a? ???????

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-24 11:52

      ok, John, the last line i cannot read, so as much as i HATE Greeklish, you are going to have to use it this time. democratic socialism ? were is that? in SA? no chance. look at the toll roads - "this is it and it is final" is what we are told = dictatorship

  • Aidan Berry - 2012-02-23 23:45

    If the masses are uneducated and unaware of the nonsense you are feeding them, then it is easy to control them. Like you really give a sh1t with all your talk. You still go home and have your hot bath and climb into your warm bed with electrified fences protecting you, while our brothers and sisters who fought for our freedom live day to day dodging crime in our neighbourhoods. We getting wiser to your bullsh1t talk.

  • Mantsho - 2012-02-24 00:12

    Zuma must Go!

      jack.oosthuysen - 2012-02-24 01:37

      In a taxi?

  • Kabelo Motlhomi - 2012-02-24 00:24

    Who doesnt or wouldnt believe that it started and ended there as he was delivering all these. It might be true all that he was saying and touched some who were present. But the truth remains that for as long as 'they' have monies for it 'they' will continue doing it coz 'they' believe 'they' owe no one!! True but fallen into deaf ears

  • Kabelo Motlhomi - 2012-02-24 00:24

    Who doesnt or wouldnt believe that it started and ended there as he was delivering all these. It might be true all that he was saying and touched some who were present. But the truth remains that for as long as 'they' have monies for it 'they' will continue doing it coz 'they' believe 'they' owe no one!! True but fallen into deaf ears

  • Kabelo Motlhomi - 2012-02-24 00:24

    Who doesnt or wouldnt believe that it started and ended there as he was delivering all these. It might be true all that he was saying and touched some who were present. But the truth remains that for as long as 'they' have monies for it 'they' will continue doing it coz 'they' believe 'they' owe no one!! True but fallen into deaf ears

  • Blip - 2012-02-24 01:57

    So, Vavi knows it's scandalously wrong but he keeps on doing it all the same? Well, let's pay no heed to this hypocrite.

  • kevin.rack - 2012-02-24 04:09

    The political class is starting to wake up to the in-equalities and realising they are loosing support. We have seen Mabula make some similar statements in realising they may have lost the way and spend more time playing politcs than leading the way. The

  • Dennis - 2012-02-24 05:04

    Beware the man who speaks with forked tongue !!

  • mlondozi - 2012-02-24 05:34

    And then after his sweeping statements of how the government needs to tighten its belt I imagine he immediately went and traded his Audi A7 in for a VW Vivo. Viva Vavi in his Vivo! Vroom vroom!

  • Silvana - 2012-02-24 06:03

    I'm starting to respect this man. Let's hope that he remains true to his words.

      Neo - 2012-02-24 08:46


  • Neels - 2012-02-24 06:14

    I think it is the sign of a new poliical party's birth - and we need it! COPE should have been that but !!! A LABOUR-party is on the cards. I have heard VAVI telling a "comrade" that he would bring the coverment "down" when he was sready. VI VA VAVI as opposition leader

  • brionyl.french - 2012-02-24 06:15

    We all wanna know whats going on???? Why are you not looking after your people as a government, remember the people are more than you and take you over like Libiya, Iraq and so many other places... Keep the people sweet and you have a happy South Africa, but when crime, corruption and prisoners well being is more important than the LAW ABIDING South africans one really needs to ask why?

  • brianmacza - 2012-02-24 06:20

    Maybe this is the wrong trite phrase to use right now - "show me the money"

  • seymore.butt - 2012-02-24 06:31

    Mr Vavi, don't think people are stupid. May be you think by accepting the obvious people on the street will forgive is easy to figure out what is genuine remorse and what is just to sympathy generator.... YOU are part of the government..what are you doing to check the personal enrichment of your fellow government officials? And instead of showing people what you are driving..why in the first place did you buy it.. did somebody shoved it down your throat???

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-02-24 06:42

    Viva Vavi Viva! Good for you to see the light. Now for some action... * Publish ANC salaries, assets and personal wealth here and abroad. * Get ANC assets abroad liquidated and paid back to the fiscus. * Insist that highest paid public servant : lowest paid ratio is not greater than 10. That is, eg President : Office cleaner pay ratio not greater than 10. * Withdraw support for ANC until this is done. * Get similar ratio in private sector. Arrange Tax penalties/rewards in system. Keep pushing and shoving until all South African NEEDS are met. ( Not talking of only jobs, housing, water, electricity, sanitation, etc.) Think you can do it? If you want us to believe you, you have to.

  • anthro45 - 2012-02-24 06:59

    Bla bla bla bla, I suppose you are now going to give all your bling back.

  • swavka - 2012-02-24 07:13

    It's so easy to talk the talk, but walking the walk is a totally different thing. Why did you accept this Silver Audi A7, as a trade union general secretary you should be driving a bakkie (take note not a 4X4)to prove that you are for the people. Maybe then the people will believe you, but you are 18years too late (oh but you needed that 18 years to feather your nest first - yes you must get your priorities straight). Unless you and SA Communist party are willing to break away from the ANC and stand on your own two feet - nothing is going to change. In fact it will get worse. And then the only people you can blame are yourselves.

  • Jo - 2012-02-24 07:32

    Mr. Vavi from me you get 100%. Spoken as a thrue visonairy, I want the same from more leaders.

  • Tulani - 2012-02-24 07:36

    thank you Mr VAVI for pointing out the downfall of S.A Politics and it's politicians, i hope and pray they start to consider what u said and please to be afraid of the press to express your view.....

  • Tulani - 2012-02-24 07:38

    Zwelindzima ( hard world / heavy world ) yes indeed

  • Phumi - 2012-02-24 07:44

    Funny how you did not mention that one of your own looted over R 100 million of workers pension fund and your fellow unionitsts Trevor Manual and Cyril Ramaphosa are desciplining our comrades for talking the truth about the state of economy and how we should all share! But behind the curtains those comrades of yours are sleeping and massaging with the enemy! Your time is up comrade Vavi and no amount of polust talk is going to convince us that you are not part of the crass! We also know what you and your wife do behind the closed door with the capitalists but that's a story for another day! We urge you to do an honourable thing and step down to give honourable Irvin Jim a chance. He is the only vangaurd of the poor and unemployed and a true champion of the working class. Something that you and your comrades Vavi turned your back on the sooner you tasted the fruits of capitalism!

      Ben - 2012-02-24 08:02

      Right about the looting, but how many comrades do you include in this illegal malpractise and what are your ideas for a remedy? Remember this is still happening and is not going to stop. At least Vavi had the guts to say it openly.

  • David - 2012-02-24 07:49

    The problem is ,that the ANC is not political party but a collection of various segments. The group at the top of the pile at the moment are the self centered corrupt millionaires. Vavi should be representing the working class, which means he is in the wrong party.

  • ericsdoms - 2012-02-24 07:53

    Maybe Vavi is just the ‘Voice of Conscience’ that speaks for the Tripart Alliance. I wouldn’t believe a word of it until he actually does something about it !

  • jensbirger.giebelmann - 2012-02-24 07:53

    go on Mr.Vavi, sell your house, car and the rest. Travel by taxi and set an example, talk is cheap - actions count.

  • Maurits Schultz - 2012-02-24 08:08

    Here is some news for you, what you are seeing is capitalism at it's best! A lot for a few and nearly nothing for the rest!!

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-24 08:35

      there is a different name for that.

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-24 09:08

      as i see a dislike, before anyone else gets any ideas about the name, it is NWO.

  • Se-a Spencer Ikeremm - 2012-02-24 10:43

    Honestly, yes, majority of SAns live in poverty. But some people in government can't be looking like the rest of us. Yes, they can cut down the money's for like local MECs/Mayors/councillors and that crèche called ANCYL, but people like himself, who are on the highest level can't be driving around in 1990 Mazdas. Next thing he'll say the president should have just 1 bodyguard as having so many is too "bling".

  • Kabelo - 2012-02-24 11:08

    Seeing is believing...

  • binarycape - 2012-02-24 12:28

    Good to hear this, but someone needs to take the first step - not just point out what they are doing and continue to do it themselves. And our president should not be able to claim for more than one wife and her children and so on...

  • Winifred - 2012-02-24 15:11

    Bling Bling it on. Flashy fast expensive cars, designer clothes and accessories boobs hanging out yet they are blind to notice the filth that lies in all our streets, dirty shabby buildings. Drinking expensive alcohol eating sushi all this grandeur at the expense of the poor and they feel no shame bring on the camera's.

  • tony.vanniekerk.35 - 2012-07-25 22:00

    ....Says Vavi, while business owners slave long hours to ensure their employees and Vavi's Union members have jobs tomorrow.

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