South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi is allegedly embroiled in yet another sex scandal after a former employee of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) allegedly filed a complaint of sexual harassment against him.
The cleaner reportedly filed the complaint after Vavi’s alleged behaviour caused stress for her.
The complaint was apparently filed in September 2017 leading to an informal investigation against the Saftu general secretary.
This led to Vavi being given a warning and him having to apologise the complainant.
In 2013, Vavi’s s*x life came into the spotlight after then 26-year-old Jacqueline Phooko accused the then Cosatu general secretary of raping her.
A source who spoke on condition of anonymity to the publication said the complainant alleged that Vavi would ask that she massage his legs and feet when he arrived in the office early in the morning.
On another day, Vavi allegedly asked to kiss the complainant after he had called for her and requested that she make him tea.
The complainant reportedly informed Vavi that she was not happy with his conduct, the source said.
The newspaper reports that during the same week, once the cleaner had given Vavi tea and asked if she could leave early to visit her hospitalised granddaughter, the Saftu general secretary allegedly asked the complainant to lie down so he could massage her.
It is alleged that Vavi then touched the complainant’s neck and back and said that she was under stress.
The complainant further alleged that earlier in 2017 Vavi had touched her breast and asked if he was going to get some.
The source told the publication that Vavi’s requests for kisses got out of hand though the complainant reportedly ignored them.
The cleaner reportedly complained to the building’s caretaker, leading to Saftu officials asking to meet with her. The officials reportedly asked if the complainant did not want to work at the Saftu offices full-time.
The complainant‘s response was apparently that she did not feel comfortable working at the offices.
According to the source who spoke to the publication, during a meeting on September 8 scheduled to discuss the matter, Vavi told Saftu officials that he had been shocked by the allegations.
Vavi reportedly told the officials that the complainant had come to his office to report that she was not feeling well and thus wanted to leave early.
Furthermore, Vavi reportedly added at the meeting that he had told the cleaner that she should sleep a while before leaving.
The Saftu general secretary reportedly said to the officials that he had not known that the cleaner felt uncomfortable about his behaviour because she had never complained.
Vavi apologised to the Saftu officials for making the cleaner uncomfortable and unhappy.
The newspaper reports that Vavi and the cleaner also met and that the general secretary had told his side of the story which was confirmed by the cleaner.
The source said that the cleaner was afraid of telling Vavi of her discomfort with his behaviour.
It is reported that Vavi apologised to the complainant, saying it was never his intention to harm her but that he was trying to be of assistance. This apology was apparently accepted by the cleaner.
Another meeting between Saftu officials and Vavi was held where the general secretary was cautioned for his conduct.
The officials were allegedly assured by Vavi that he would be mindful of his behaviour, the newspaper reports.
The publication reports that when contacted for a response, Vavi rejected the allegation, calling it false.
He said: “Interestingly, it was made last year and a due process was undertaken. At the end, it was accepted by all parties that there has been a complete misunderstanding and the matter was accordingly put to rest. Interestingly, it’s been resuscitated now for obvious reasons.”