Vavi rejects MP offer

The suspended general secretary says he prefers serving Cosatu.

Suspended Cosatu general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - Suspended Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi on Tuesday said he has no desire of becoming a Member of Parliament (MP).

He was suspended by the trade union federation in August 2013 after admitting to having a consensual affair with a junior employee.

Vavi has since apologised for his actions but maintains he did not break any Cosatu rules.

Over the weekend, ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe suggested that Vavi go to Parliament and represent the ANC.

He said ANC branches want Vavi in Parliament.

But Vavi declined the position.

I am honoured by ANC member's confidence in me demonstrated through nomination to serve as an MP but I have to respectfully decline

Speaking on the Midday Report, he said he preferred serving Cosatu.

"My energies and capabilities will be better served if I was to continue serving in the capacity for which I was elected by Cosatu members in 2012."

Vavi says the country needs to address the growing inequality in the country.

"I believe that the biggest challenge South Africa is facing today is the challenge of ensuring that we can engineer a new radical economic transformation in the context of a growing unemployment crisis, now sitting at the record of 36 percent."

He believes the country needs a vibrant trade union movement.

"We need every effort to ensure that we can have an independent, militant, feisty, transformative and revolutionary trade union movement in the form of Cosatu.

"Secondly, I think that we must retain a vibrant civil society and a vibrant independent but transformed media and judiciary to ensure that we can keep our leadership on its toes."