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‘Vavi treated unfairly’

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Suspended general secretary of Cosatu Zwelinzima Vavi. File photo: Masi Losi

Johannesburg - Suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was being treated unfairly, his spokesman John Dludlu said on Saturday.

“Like the continuous selective leaks of details of the forensic probes against him during the five months of his illegal suspension, we believe the purpose of this week's latest leaks is to subject Mr Vavi to a media trial with the hope that some, if not all, of the trumped up charges against him will stick like mud,” Dludlu said in a statement.

“This is unfair, and in our view represents a further assault on the rights of Mr Vavi.”

On Friday, The Mail & Guardian reported that the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) leadership wanted Vavi fired from his position without any notice.

The newspaper said it was in possession of the 33-page charge sheet dated January 13 2014.

The charge sheet was served on Vavi last week, five months after he was put on special leave by the trade union federation.

Vavi was facing nine charges, according to the report.

They were:

- Recruitment and employment of the junior Cosatu employee without going through the relevant challenges

- Relationship with the Cosatu employee

- The conversion of the junior to permanent employee

- Supervision of the woman he was accused of having an affair with – alleged failure by Vavi to supervise her work performance has allegedly led to travel expenses amounting to R483,737 in 2012 and R778,624 in 2013 not accounted for

- Distribution of internal grievance and response on Twitter before Cosatu could hear the grievance

- Personal expenses and personal travel paid for using a Cosatu credit card

- Claiming during a Carte Blanche interview that the administrative secretary of Cosatu had interviewed the junior employee for her position

- Breach of suspension conditions

- Utterances derogatory of Cosatu and its leadership, which include a statement posted on Numsa's website shortly after Vavi was suspended in which he questioned the motive of his suspension.

According to the newspaper Vavi's disciplinary inquiry would be chaired by one of the country's top legal minds, advocate Wim Trengove SC.

He would be authorised to make findings on all the charges and also decide on the appropriate sanction.

Vavi would be allowed legal representation at the inquiry.

Dludlu said Vavi hoped the country would see through the “malicious agenda.”

“The basic rule at all times is that the onus and the burden of proof lies with the one making allegations. Mr Vavi is no different - he remains innocent until proven guilty.”

Dludlu said Vavi was confident of his innocence and would be vindicated. - Sapa


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