Audit leaks violate Vavi’s rights: lawyer

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Independent Newspapers

A Cosatu-ordered forensic audit suggests that Zwelinzima Vavi failed to declare conflicts of interest involving his family. File picture: Neil Baynes

Johannesburg - Congress of SA Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi's right to be heard was being violated, his spokesman John Dludlu said on Wednesday.

This followed media reports about a leaked forensic audit report by auditing firm SizweNtsalubaGobodo regarding his involvement in the selling of the old Cosatu building and the purchasing of the new one.

Dludlu said the leak was unethical.

“This conduct is both unethical and contrary to principles of fairness and justice that define the work of the auditing profession.”

Earlier in the day, The Star newspaper reported that the report fingered acting Eskom CEO Collin Matjila for the debacle but the buck would stop with Vavi as he was supposed to have overseen the process.

The report said the trade union movement overpaid R6.3 million on its new building while the old one was undersold by at least R9 million.

Dludlu said Vavi would not subject himself to a media trial - where his accusers selectively fed the media with leaks.

“We wish to place on record that since his return to his elected post after the lifting of his illegal suspension, Vavi has seen and read the SNG report.

“The report confirms our worst fears that his rights to be heard were violated. His inputs were either ignored or misunderstood and the effect of this has been flawed conclusions and adverse findings,” he said.

Vavi was suspended from the trade union federation for having an affair with a junior employee.

He was put on special leave in August last year, pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing relating to the affair. He returned to work on April 7.

Vavi would challenge the manner the audit was being handled.

“Consequently, to assert his rights, Mr Vavi will be challenging this concerning conduct by the firm through appropriate professional standards channels,” said Dludlu.

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