Vavi charges: Five months not unusual

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Suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. Photo: Werner Beukes

 

Johannesburg - It is not unusual to take five months to draw up charges, as has happened in the case of suspended general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini said on Wednesday.

“It's not a surprise. We've explained before why there were delays, and it was not necessarily because of Cosatu or investigators,” he told reporters in Johannesburg.

A charge sheet was sent to Vavi two days ago, five months after he was put on special leave by the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) for having an affair with a junior employee, among other things.

Dlamini would not say what the charges were.

“No one is saying our general secretary is guilty.... You are innocent until proven otherwise,” he said.

“We must treat that with the dignity it deserves.”

Vavi was put on special leave in August pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing relating to his affair with the junior employee.

In July, the employee accused him of rape. He said they had an affair. The woman subsequently withdrew a sexual harassment complaint against him.

There were also allegations of corruption against Vavi.

On Tuesday, Vavi's spokesman John Dludlu confirmed that, after five months of waiting, he had received a charge sheet.

He said Vavi was consulting with his lawyers and allies within and outside Cosatu on the way forward.

Vavi ally, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), has brought an application in the High Court in Johannesburg challenging his suspension. Vavi has lodged papers to be added as an applicant in Numsa's matter.

He asks the court to grant him an interim order interdicting and restraining Cosatu from enforcing any decision taken at its central executive committee meeting in August. He wants final relief to review and set aside the decision to suspend him and institute disciplinary proceedings. - Sapa


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