Publication: Mail and Guardian Issued: Date: 2003-09-11 Reporter: Jaspreet Kindra

Cosatu Speaks Out on Zuma Corruption Charges



Mail and Guardian

Date 2003-09-11


Jaspreet Kindra

Web Link


The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has described the corruption allegations against Deputy President Jacob Zuma as "politically most serious" in its congress documents.

In his report to the congress which begins next week, Cosatu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has commented on the allegations against Zuma in a section devoted to "Allegations of corruption".

He said "They fit into the pattern of being raised in the run-up to important political events, and as a result of this they themselves raise the spectre of political manipulation. Nevertheless, these allegations should be thoroughly investigated and dealt with as speedily as possible."

Vavi acknowledged the role Zuma has played in maintaining the alliance and leading the campaign against HIV/Aids.

In that context, he said "It would be a blow to working people if the investigations drag on or tarnish his image, or worse, if they are proved to be correct.

"Obviously," remarked Vavi, "the real crime -- the real corruption -- is the continued enrichment of a tiny minority at the expense of the majority. The fact remains, however, that we cannot transform society unless we can ensure that the state and our leaders are answerable to the people."

According to the Cosatu report, perceptions about corruption and actual corrupt practices "derive in part from the huge gap that has emerged in living standards between ANC leaders and the poor they represent. Objectively, the conspicuous consumption found in some in government opens the door to improper behaviour."

With acknowledgements to Jaspreet Kindra and the Mail and Guardian.