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COSATU shocked by report of death threat
10 December 2012
The Congress of South African Trade Unions is deeply shocked that its General Secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, was informed by an SAPS official of a plot to kill him.
Such reports of a death threat must always be taken seriously. They cause fear and worry for Comrade Vavi and his family, especially as this is not the first such threat. The federation sends a message of support and solidarity to the family and pledges to take every possible measure to ensure their safety and security.
On 28 September Major-General Chris Ngcobo summoned the General Secretary an urgent meeting to give a detailed briefing of the plot – that Iranian intelligence officials had bribed one of Zwelinzima Vavi’s bodyguards to disclose his travel arrangements and that a member of an NGO that worked closely with COSATU would use this information to find an opportunity to poison him and thus sow chaos ahead of the ANC’s Mangaung Conference.
As the General Secretary told the Sunday Times: “This sounded far-fetched, as I can see no benefits to Iran from a crisis that may emerge in the country if I was to be permanently removed.”
Ngcobo undertook to report back within two weeks, but after more than two months has only responded to a text message to say that the situation was still being monitored. Nothing more has been heard.
The federation demands that the officers reveal all the information they have, including identifying the bodyguard and the NGO who are alleged to be involved.
It is extremely worrying not only that the threat has allegedly been made, but also that it is taking such an inordinate length of time for the SAPS officers to investigate and clarify such a serious threat to a leading national and international figure. This does not inspire any confidence in their professionalism or competence or their ability to protect other public figures who receive such threats.
Their silence means that we still do not know whether the threat was ever real or whether the warning was a politically motivated attempt by elements within the state apparatus to intimidate Comrade Vavi. Whichever it is, it will never divert us from our revolutionary struggle to liberate the working class from poverty and exploitation.
Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Street
Tel: +27 11 339-4911 or Direct: +27 10 219-1339
Mobile: +27 82 821 7456