Durban - The SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) will do all in its power to protect Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, it said on Friday.

In a statement, Samwu said it was “angered” at the death threats Vavi had apparently received.

Its 190 000 members were “ready and willing to protect our general secretary, comrade Vavi, wherever and whenever”, it said.

On Monday, Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven said intelligence boss Maj-Gen Chris Ngcobo gave Vavi details of the plot at an urgently-convened meeting on September 28.

Iranian intelligence officials had apparently bribed one of Vavi's bodyguards to disclose his travel arrangements.

A member of an NGO which worked closely with Cosatu would apparently use the information to try and find an opportunity to poison Vavi.

This was meant to cause chaos ahead of the African National Congress's elective conference in Mangaung, which is being held from Sunday to Friday.

The Sunday Times quoted Vavi as saying: “This sounded far-fetched, as I can see no benefits to Iran from a crisis that may emerge in the country if I was to be permanently removed.”

Samwu said the union's central executive committee had decided to protect Vavi, but would await instructions on how to do so.

“We will wait for... (Cosatu) to indicate what municipal workers can and ought to do to protect the lives of comrade Vavi and his family.” - Sapa