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Johannesburg - Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi vowed on Friday to challenge his suspension from the trade union federation.
"I have instructed my lawyers to challenge the decision to put me on leave of absence pending investigation and possible disciplinary action," he told reporters in Johannesburg on Friday.
"I believe a grave injustice is being visited on me. I believe that my suspension will be proven to be both procedurally and substantially unfair.
"The laws of the country, including the right to be treated fairly, have been trampled upon by the very same people who are mandated to defend the rights of workers and all South Africans, including myself."
He said Congress of SA Trade Unions president Sidumo Dlamini had circulated an "intelligence report" aimed at destroying him.
Cosatu announced on Thursday that Vavi had been put on special leave pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing relating to an affair he had with a junior Cosatu employee.
"(Vavi) has been released from all his official duties as the general secretary during this period of investigation until such a time that the outcome of the (disciplinary) hearing is known," deputy general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali told reporters in Johannesburg.
Dlamini said Vavi was placed on special leave after the special central executive committee (CEC) meeting.
Last month, a junior Cosatu employee accused Vavi of rape. He admitted to having a consensual affair with her. The woman subsequently withdrew a sexual harassment complaint against him.
Vavi said the intelligence report, which was distributed at the briefing, aimed to discredit a number of South Africans including ANC MP Tokyo Sexwale, deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke, ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, and National Union of Metalworkers of SA general secretary Irvin Jim.
According to the report the Marikana shootings, service delivery protests, and xenophobic attacks were part of a "grand conspiracy" to overthrow the state.
"I have no doubt in my mind that this report has been widely circulated among certain leaders in the organisation, and have changed the readers' perspectives about me," Vavi said.
"Individuals who only yesterday would have laid their lives on the line in my defence and in the defence of the organisation have changed in the recent past and today are my worst political enemies."
He said the report "which has all the hallmarks of being the work of rogue elements in the intelligence community, who are in the employ of factionalists", was a complete fabrication.
Transcripts of discussions and meetings that never took place had been fabricated, Vavi said.
He said his lawyers were writing a letter to Intelligence Minister Siyabonya Cwele to determine if the report was a product of state organs.
"We will also write a letter to the inspector general, who is the intelligence ombudsman, to ask him to investigate if state institutions have not been abused to divide workers' organisations and smear individuals."
Vavi said Dlamini had publicly found him guilty before the CEC meeting, and that leaders of affiliated unions had prejudiced themselves because they were influenced by the report.
The decision to "suspend in order to launch an investigation" had trampled on both his and the woman's rights.
"What will be investigated when I have already admitted that I have erred and apologised dozens of times?" he asked.
He said he was not given an opportunity to motivate why he should not be placed on special leave. Vavi recounted an incident in the Bible when Jesus told a crowd who wanted to stone an adulteress that whoever was sinless had to cast the first stone.
"I believe that if Jesus was to come back now and make the same statement in my place he will be surprised by the people who have worse sins."
Vavi lamented the state of democracy in South Africa.
"Today in 2013... we can't have any discussions on our phones because there is paranoia amongst all of us that our phones are being tapped.
"What type of a democracy is that? This is not what we laid our lives (down) for. The is not what (assassinated SA Communist Party leader) Chris Hani died for."
Cosatu denied a report by the Mail & Guardian on Friday that Vavi had been stripped of employee benefits such as a cellphone, iPad and a company car and that he could not go to Cosatu's offices without notifying Ntshalintshali.
"None of this is true. The CEC made no such decisions, and furthermore the meeting resolved that every individual and structure involved must respect internal processes, without exception, and issues must only be communicated to the media by national office bearers," it said.