Death Threat Against COSATU General Secretary Must be Fully Investigated

The ITUC is calling upon the South African government to fully investigate the death threat made against COSATU General Secretary Zweli Vavi, and to ensure that he and his family are protected.

Vavi was informed by acting crime intelligence chief Major-General Chris Ngcobo on 28 September that Iranian intelligence officials had bribed one of his 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.

COSATU has received no further information on the alleged plot since the initial briefing, and has said in a statement that “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.”

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said that “The alleged plot to kill Zweli Vavi is of the utmost seriousness and the authorities must protect him. Unless the investigation is completed and the results made public, it will never be known whether the plot was real, or an attempt to intimidate him for standing up for working people and fighting against corruption in South Africa.”