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Vavi receives Cosatu charge sheet

Politics

Johannesburg - Suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi received a charge sheet from the trade union federation on Tuesday, five months after being put on special leave.

“Finally, after five months since his illegal suspension, Mr Vavi has received a charge sheet from Cosatu with all manner of allegations against him,” his spokesman John Dludlu said.

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Suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi is seen at the National Union of Metalworkers of SA's (Numsa) political school in Benoni in eastern Johannesburg on Tuesday, 17 September 2013, titled the Mbuyiselo Ngwenda Brigade. Ngwenda was Numsa's former general secretary.Vavi said he was speaking as a friend and neighbour of the late Ngwenda. Cosatu must remain an independent organisation whose leaders should not serve on the national executive committee (NEC) of the ANC, Vavi said on Tuesday. Last month, Cosatu announced that Vavi had been put on special leave pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing relating to an affair he had with a junior employee.In July, the employee accused him of rape. He said he had an affair with her. The woman subsequently withdrew a sexual harassment complaint against him.Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

“We are in consultation with both our lawyers and allies within and outside the federation on the way forward.”

Dludlu would not comment further on the matter.

Congress of SA Trade Unions spokesman Patrick Craven said he could not comment on internal matters.

Vavi was put on special leave in August pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing relating to his affair with a 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, involving the sale of the trade union federation's headquarters in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

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

In these, 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.

In November, Cosatu said Vavi's disciplinary investigation was almost finished.

Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini said a number of issues were being investigated. These included employment, Cosatu's recruitment policy, the name of the employee being given to the media, and power relations in Cosatu's office.

“The investigation uncovered other things which need further investigation. It cannot be an overnight thing,” Dlamini said at the time.

“It is not the fault of Cosatu. It is not the fault of investigators that there is a delay.”

He said the investigators needed those involved to co-operate.

Sapa

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