No chance of a fair hearing: Vavi
Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says he will not co-operate with a forensic investigation against him as there is no prospect of him getting a fair hearing.
Vavi issued a statement on Thursday night detailing the reasons for his non-participation in the probe, which has fingered him on a number of counts of maladministration.
It was issued after Cosatu’s other leaders accused of him of making his own bed by not responding to questions from forensic auditors Sizwe NtsalubaGobodo.
“The investigators have done most of their work. But two people must still answer. They have been sent numerous e-mails to respond… they have declined,” said Cosatu second deputy president Zingiswa Losi.
The second person is Craig Greene, who is linked to Vavi’s wife, Noluthando.
She is one of the directors of Simethebile Holdings, together with Greene, who is the sole member of VMS Technologies South Africa CC.
The company was chosen from a shortlist to supply Cosatu’s new head office with telecoms. It also provided technology for a fingerprinting system at the offices.
Vavi’s step-daughter worked for VMS for four months.
The auditors recommended action be taken against Vavi on a number of counts, including that he did not follow tender processes when VMS was selected. But Vavi has countered that the federation does not have a tender policy, and the deal was not only signed off by him, but also four other national office bearers (NOBs).
“To me this whole episode is nothing but a witch-hunt to ‘surgically remove the general secretary’,” Vavi said.
“A third investigation was initiated to find evidence on the basis of false claims that contracts to the VMS were awarded by me alone, because I am conflicted. The good that we did for the organisation is rubbished just to satisfy an agenda to try find something on the general secretary”
Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini said that before the federation’s central executive committee (CEC) meeting this week, the auditors had briefed the NOBs, including Vavi, on what their report would contain. This is the second investigation Gobodo has conducted into Cosatu’s affairs.
Vavi chose not to attend the CEC after five of Cosatu’s affiliates decided to boycott the meeting because they first wanted the metalworkers union, Numsa, reinstated into the federation.
Dlamini said the CEC had instructed the NOBs to ask Vavi to appear before the investigators to get his response. He said it was possible the conclusion of the report could change once Vavi had given his input.
The findings and Vavi’s absence will be dealt with in a special CEC later this month.