By Madimetja Mashishi
Cosatu general-secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, says he hopes that South Africans can put his alleged rape accusation behind them. He said this after the complainant who claimed Vavi had raped her in January withdrew her grievance during a Cosatu internal hearing today.
The woman, a Cosatu staffer, claims that Vavi came into her office on January 25, locked the door and raped her. However, Vavi denied that he raped her and said that their sexual encounter was consensual.
According to media reports, the married mother of two, together with her husband, tried to extort R2 million out of Zwelinzima Vavi and his wife, Noluthando. The couple, however, denied that they tried to extort money out of the Vavis saying that they were offered to be paid for their silence.
In a statement released just after the hearing, Vavi says that he is pleased that the grievance has been concluded, adding that he “hope that we all can put this saga behind us so that we all can concentrate on the real issues of the day – ensuring that we have a vibrant trade union federation that promotes South Africa, the interests of workers and the working class as a whole”.
Vavi said he trusts that the South African Police Service (SAPS) will deal with the extortion case he opened against his accuser speedily and added that he will consult with his lawyer to see if there is any further action needed to repair his “extremely damaged” reputation.
“I will have to deal with this issue with my wife and family and I hope that you will all afford me the opportunity to deal with this matter privately and in the most constructive manner possible,” said Vavi, concluding his statement by thanking all who supported him.