Vavi cautious after death threats

Cosatu's Zwelinzima Vavi says he is genuinely concerned there could be an attempt made on his life.

General Secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)’s Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - General Secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)'s Zwelinzima Vavi told Talk Radio 702 that he has taken extra precautions when it comes to his safety after recently posting a tweet saying he fears for his life.

On Monday morning Vavi spoke to John Robbie about these death threats in the midst of a case of political disloyalty and maladministration against him.

Vavi said he is genuinely concerned there could be an attempt made on his life.

"I will always hold the view that those people who issued the death threats are still on a mission."

He recalled one of the death threats he received.

"I think it was in June 2010 when I received the first death threat. It was a simple letter addressed to me saying, 'you are going to go the same way as Molefi Sefularo', who was the Deputy Minister of Health at the time."

The Cosatu head said Sefularo's accident was rumoured to have been engineered.

"I immediately took the matter up with the Minister of Police and then the commissioner of police, who took the note to a police laboratory and never got back to me," he said.

Vavi said he was also called into a meeting last year where he was advised of a plot to poison him.

"Immediately after the Cosatu congress last year I was called into a discussion with the acting head of crime and intelligence. He advised me that they'd come across a plot to poison me from the Iranian Intelligence Services. Someone from one of the NGO's which we normally work with had been hired."

He said people working closely with him where also rumoured to have been hired by these Iranians to poison him.

When asked what the motive would be for Iranians to take out a union leader in South Africa, Vavi said he had no idea.

"I've been thinking and it doesn't make sense to me. I have nothing to do with Iranians. Cosatu and our country are in good relationship with Iranians in the context of the imperialist activities in that country lead by the United States."

He said it would be strange that anyone in Iran would want to have a go at him.