Former Cosatu SG Vavi has condemned President Jacob Zuma for masterminding the establishment of a new trade union saddled with the responsibility of spying on rival unions in the country.
Earlier this week, a civil suit brought against Zuma and several government ministers and departments in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria indicated that Zuma instructed leaders of the so-called trade union to set up the federation.
The civil suit was filed by Thebe Maswabi, one of the founding members of the new trade union – Workers Association Union (WAU). It was registered in 2014.
In a court paper presented by Maswabi, he alleged that the union leaders are currently left in debt because Zuma and the other defendants allegedly stopped funding the new union. He sued the president and others for R114m.
He claimed that the union’s first meeting took place in 2013 at the Unions Building and was sponsored by an SSA agent. The WAU leader also told the court that there was a total of four meetings with Zuma throughout September and October 2013.
Reports had it that the union was allegedly established as a covert intelligence project set up to spy on rival trade unions such as the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).
An apparently shocked Vavi said: “If this is true, we have a President who has not just lost the plot, but who has been busy trying to create them.
For a President to deliberately call together the equivalent of trade union mercenaries and sections of what must be considered probably the most sensitive elements of the state apparatus beggars belief.”
It is understood that Zuma instructed WAU and Maswabi “to acquire sensitive information from their rival trade unions especially on instigators and perpetrators of illegal strike within those unions’ meetings and plenary sessions and to provide digital or documentary proof of such attendance.”
Meanwhile, South African bigwigs have called on appropriate bodies to urgently look into the matter and serve justice to defaulters as well.