Under siege Saftu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has hit back at his colleagues for giving him an ultimatum to state why he should not be suspended pending an investigation and disciplinary action.
This comes after the trade union federation’s president Mac Chavalala wrote to Vavi giving him until the end of business on Thursday to state why he should not step aside while being investigated for alleged misconduct.
According to Chavalala, the decision had been taken at a meeting of Saftu’s national office bearers (NOBs) on Monday.
Vavi said the decision and letter of intention to suspend him were unlawful and unconstitutional. He would therefore report for duty as per normal for there was “no case to answer”.
According to Vavi, the NOBs had hurried the decision to suspend him at the Monday meeting without a clear set of allegations he must answer to.
With the exception of a R1,800 bill for Gautrain trips, Bolt rides and airtime racked up by him that was advanced as one of the allegations he is facing, there was no detailed report of the case against him, he said.
Vavi believes the decision to give him the chance to state his case while allegations are “vague” was “taken elsewhere” and vowed it will not succeed.
“In the national office bearers’ meeting, the national treasurer presented credit card transactions claiming that they caused eyebrows to be raised. She made an example of the R1,800 airtime, Gautrain and Bolt,” wrote Vavi in a letter to the NOBs.
“There was not even the decency to ask me to explain the so-called suspicious transactions in the meeting.
Why are you now writing me a letter as if another meeting took place somewhere else, to which I was not invited?
“As soon as the national treasurer presented the report, which I was seeing for the first time, the second deputy president moved a motion that an investigation be launched and that I be placed on suspension with the president hurrying to second [the motion].
“Why are you now writing me a letter as if another meeting took place somewhere else, to which I was not invited, and ask me to answer to a letter on why I must not be placed on precautionary suspension pending investigation regarding these vague and spurious allegations?”
Vavi said he was compiling a detailed account of all the transactions flagged as suspicious during the Monday NOBs meeting and will present them to the finance committee meeting on Thursday.
Once he had done that, he said, he was going to the national office bearers, one by one, “to point out which one of the transactions is suspicious” to the extent that they warrant “such a drastic decision as to place me on unconstitutional suspension”.
The letter of intention to suspend Vavi stated he was under the microscope for “alleged violations of the constitution, breach of administration and finance policy, and disrespecting and undermining constitutional structural decisions and resolutions”.
Chavalala refused to comment on the matter “pending internal discussions and protocols”.