Vavi's former lover 'demanding' over R4m for defamation

Jacqueline Phooko is reportedly seeking the costs from Vavi, Cosatu and Numsa.

Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The woman who accused Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi of rape is now reportedly demanding more than R4 million for defamation.

The Mail & Guardian is reporting that Jacqueline Phooko is seeking the costs from Vavi, the trade union federation and its biggest affiliate.

In court papers, Phooko states the rape allegations that have been dismissed by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) have damaged her reputation and rendered her unemployable.

Last year, Vavi admitted to having an affair with Phooko who at the time worked at the trade union federation's headquarters.

Vavi was subsequently suspended but was later reinstated after the High Court in Johannesburg found that the suspension was unlawful and invalid.

Phooko is demanding that Vavi pay her R600,000 for saying that her sexual harassment case was a ploy to extort money from him and that she was being used by his political opponents to gain maximum advantage over him.

Vavi's former lover is also demanding R3 million from Cosatu for reputational damages which she says were contained in Vavi's statement uploaded on its website.

She also wants Numsa's Mbuso Ngubane to pay out R500,000 from the union over statements he made which allegedly damaged her credibility.

Phooko further argues that the statements against her were intended to paint her as a liar, an adulterer, a criminal, a dishonest employee, a manipulative wife, a political mole and a person without moral standing.