Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim responds to Jessie Duarte's column in City Press
Comrade Jessie Duarte wrote to the City Press,
“Don’t mask exploitation with claims of conspiracy”, Sunday August 05, 2013,
in reference to the allegations of sexual harassmentagainst Comrade Zwelinzima Vavi, general secretary of Cosatu.
The accuser has since dropped the charge at Cosatu. Comrade Duarte makes several veryserious unfounded and defamatory accusations against Comrade Zwelinzima Vavi. Theseaccusations actually border on criminal libel.She accuses Vavi of engineering an abusive power relationship with the female colleague byfraudulently employing her in expectation of sexual favours in return. She has not botheredto establish whether the appointment was sanctioned and approved by the Cosatu NationalOffice Bearers.She vehemently dismisses any possibility of a conspiracy and boldly states that:
“This is not a conspiracy, there is no conspiracy, and there is only
one reality in the saddrama that has caused smirks and contemptuous comments on the social media platforms. A man in a powerful position engineered a job for a woman and assumed that sex would be
She then concludes by exhorting women to rise, and I guess, defend themselves against theVavis of this world.In case you do not know who Jessie Duarte is, this is the woman who is the current deputysecretary general of the African National Congress (ANC), whose current national leadershipis extre
mely unhappy with Vavi’s unfailing denunciations of widespread ANC government
corruption, failure to transform the education and health systems inherited from our apartheid past, e-tolls, labour brokers, collapsing local government, among many other failings of the ANC in the past 18 years.
Crucially, Vavi has consistently railed against the ANC’s failure to radically implement the
Freedom Charter, and today, on behalf of Cosatu, Vavi has condemned the NDP as simplyanother version of the abominable GEAR policy which led to the massive shedding of jobsand the destruction of our manufacturing base.
Jessie Duarte’s position, as the Deputy Secretary General, is the second most powerful,
organisationally, in the ANC. From our analyses of her article in the City press, she has,logically, a responsibility to contribute to the destruction of Vavi, the most vocal critique of the policies of the African National Policies, even as Vavi heads the largest formation in the ANC led tripartite Alliance.With all this in mind, only a fool, and a fool of a very special kind, would be stupid enough todismiss the possibility of conspiracy behind the sexual harassment charges against Vavi.