South Africa’s Cosatu Holds Audit Into Buildings Sale

The Congress of South African Trade Unions, the country’s biggest labor federation, commissioned an audit into the purchase and sale of its buildings amid graft allegations against General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

Cosatu, which is an ally of the ruling African National Congress, appointed auditing firm Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo to establish whether there was “any impropriety” in connection with the transactions, the labor group said in a statement handed to reporters in Johannesburg today.

The probe follows reports in newspapers, including Johannesburg-based Business Day, that Cosatu was investigating Vavi for possible corruption relating to property deals, citing unidentified people. Vavi, 50, has denied any wrongdoing and has vowed to resign if found guilty.

“Any submissions relating to this sale and purchase will be made to the auditors, and if there is any other issue requiring forensic auditing, such issue will be directed to the auditors by the facilitators,” according to the statement.

While Vavi will make a detailed report on the transactions to the auditors, there is no implication he is being investigated, Cosatu President S’dumo Dlamini told reporters today. The probe will be complete by the end of June, according to the statement.

“All I know is that I have not done anything wrong,” Vavi told reporters.

Vavi has been critical of President Jacob Zuma and in October called on Zuma to clarify whether the government was paying for renovations to his private home in the KwaZulu-Natal province.

The ANC has sidelined other internal opponents of Zuma since he resoundingly won a second term as party leader in December. In March, the party removed leaders from the youth wing and in Limpopo province who had campaigned against him.

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