The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) in KwaZulu-Natal is not surprised by new allegations against COSATU General Secretary comrade Zwelinzima Vavi, that he sexually assaulted a woman colleague.
Clearly, this latest rape allegation cannot be de-linked from the poisonous, malicious and well-calculated political offensive directed towards destroying comrade Vavi’s political integrity and standing in society. We are aware that certain powerful leaders within and outside COSATU, coerced the alleged woman colleague to falsify the rape claim in order to destroy comrade Vavi’s political career. We view this as a very dangerous ploy or strategy, and thus undermine our fight against rape and sexual violence directed towards the vulnerable in our society.
As Numsa we strongly believe that the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise, as enjoined by our constitution should be upheld by all, as opposed to the gutter of public opinion.
We will defend comrade Vavi, in the same manner and vigor we defend other leader’s of our movement in the past accused of rape. We refuse to suffer from any selective amnesia, but we want to be principled and consistent, since the parallels are obvious and similar.
We also appeal to the media to treat this matter with all the sensitivity it deserves, until all facts surrounding the matter have been established beyond reasonable doubt. We are fully behind our COSATU General Secretary.
KwaZulu-Natal Regional Secretary