Vavi family appoints spokesperson

Former journalist and Absa head of communications John Dludlu has been appointed spokesperson for suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi’s family.

“Two weeks ago, my husband was placed on ‘special leave’ pending unspecified disciplinary action against him by the federation. However, as is his right, he is challenging this action through appropriate channels,” Vavi’s wife, Noluthando, said today.

“It is in part against this background and the desire to give my husband space and time to prepare for his case against him that I have appointed John Dludlu … as the Vavi family spokesperson with immediate effect.”

She said she would not comment on the merits or demerits of the case against her husband.

Noluthando Vavi said it had been an emotional and politically taxing time for the family.

“Still, we have accepted his apology and believe he has so much to give to South Africa and deserves another chance to make this contribution.

“I love him, and he retains both my respect and support.”

Last month, the 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 admitted to having a consensual affair with her. The woman subsequently withdrew a sexual harassment complaint against him.

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA, a strong ally of Vavi’s, this week said it had served Cosatu with legal papers challenging the general secretary’s suspension.

The Food and Allied Workers’ Union and SA Football Players’ Union were co-applicants.

Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim said they wanted Cosatu to rescind and uplift the “unconstitutional and unprecedented” suspension of Vavi.

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