Sexual harassment claim against Vavi was ‘misunderstanding’‚ says Saftu

A sexual harassment claim against SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was a “misunderstanding” and has been settled‚ the union says.

It said both parties had agreed in writing that there had been a misunderstanding between them and that the female complainant had stated that she did not want to take the matter any further.

Sowetan reported on Friday that Vavi had allegedly been caught up in a new sex scandal involving an employee which had resulted in him getting a warning.

The newspaper said it had been reliably informed that a cleaner who worked for the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) – an affiliate of Saftu – had filed a sexual harassment complaint against Vavi after his alleged conduct had caused her stress.

In a statement on Friday evening‚ Saftu said: “For the record‚ it is true that a Numsa staff member expressed her discomfort and made allegations that the Saftu general secretary made unwanted sexual advances and/or handled her inappropriately.

“The allegations were made during September 2017. On the same day these allegations were brought to the attention of the Saftu national office bearers‚ they acted swiftly.”

Numsa and Saftu had given the complainant a chance to “express herself” and say how she wanted the matter handled and Vavi was also asked separately for his version.

“He denied the allegations‚” Saftu stated.

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