Rape allegations are politically motivated - Vavi

Cosatu’s Zwelinzima Vavi has admitted to having an affair but denies rape allegations.

Cosatu’s Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi believes the allegations that he raped a female colleague are all part of a plot to discredit him or extort money from him.

Vavi, who is married, has vehemently denied raping his female colleague after receiving an apparent email from her demanding R2 million to silence her.

Vavi says he has engaged his lawyers and will not personally react to the allegations.

Vavi views the rape allegations in the same light as several other death threats he has been receiving as political assaults and efforts to tarnish his contribution to the struggle.

Vavi has confirmed he had an affair with a woman but denies grabbing and raping his female colleague more than six months ago.

Vavi added that he regrets having an affair while he has a "perfect marriage."

He has also apologised to everyone stating that it was a "bad error" on his side.


Meanwhile, the family of the woman who Vavi has admitted to having an affair with says it is devastated.

The woman says she is waiting for an internal investigation before she will give her side of the story.

Eyewitness News understands the woman will wait for an internal investigation to conclude before publicly giving her account of what happened.

She is still employed by the trade union federation and does not want to jeopardise the internal investigation.

Eyewitness News understands a woman's husband informed Vavi's wife about the incident and then confronted the trade union leader.


Vavi has been on the political back foot since the ANC's Mangaung conference in December.

After President Jacob Zuma's victory at the conference he has appeared to be almost a lone critic of Zuma within the tripartite alliance.

He has claimed several times there is a political campaign within the federation to oust him.

If Vavi is viewed as guilty of wrong doing by the federation's top brass he could find himself out of Cosatu House.