4. Zwelinzima Vavi – Former Cosatu secretary-general
FILE PICTURE: Expelled Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: Refilwe Modise
In 2013, Vavi’s sex life came into the spotlight after then 26-year-old Jacqueline Phooko accused the then Cosatu general secretary of raping her.
Vavi denied raping the woman, but admitted to having had a relationship with her, which later led to consensual sex.
According to Vavi, the two started feeling differently about each in October/November 2012. A “spontaneous” relationship, which consisted only of kissing and hugging then developed between the two.
In a statement, he denied going to the woman’s office, grabbing and kissing her and forcefully fondling her private parts and raping her, as she had claimed.
He said he did go to her office, where he kissed her, which eventually led to them “making love”.
“I did lock her office door but only to ensure that no one else could come in. Brief intercourse took place whilst we were standing. At no stage did she ask me to stop,” he said.
Later that day he said he received a “shocking” text message from her saying “that was not consensual…”
The National Union of Metalworkers also released a statement in support of Vavi, and said the rape allegation could not be delinked from “the poisonous, malicious and well-calculated political offensive directed towards destroying comrade Vavi’s political integrity and standing in society”.
The union further accused other Cosatu leaders of coercing the woman to falsify the rape claim.
She later sought about R4 million in damages.