Zwelinzima Vavi may exit the political arena due to death threats which he started receiving three years ago. The COSATU General Secretary has reason to believe that the wheels are already in motion for his assassination. His family is worried that his safety may be compromised and if that happens, the death threats will become a horrific reality. Vavi said: “They fear that one day I will arrive back home on my back in a black coffin.” His family has even planned a meeting at which they intend to ask him to leave the union and the African National Congress.
Vavi does not know who wants him dead. He also doesn’t know why these people want him dead but he is certain it has to do with his political activities. The threats are specific about the type of death that he is likely to suffer. The threats promise that the politician will be fatally injured in a car ‘accident’. The other deadly option is death by poison.
Zwelinzima Vavi became the general secretary of COSATU in 1999. He took over from Mbazima Shilowa. Vavi is disheartened that there are circumstances which are making him fear for his life in a democratic South Africa. “After 1994, naively I thought that those things are things of the past; you can never fear to speak on your phone, can never fear that food would be poisoned, that will have a car accident that is engineered or can never fear that you will be assassinated. But that’s unfortunately the reality 19 years into the democracy today.”
Recently, Vavi had to deal with a harsh Twitter audience after he tweeted: “The appointment of cabinet is a prerogative of a president alone. That’s why we limit our response to congratulate those appointed.” This was Vavi’s response to the cabinet reshuffle by President Jacob Zuma. Feeling the need to clarify that he was neither in favour nor against the reshuffle, Vavi tweeted: “We did not celebrate removal or welcome removal of anyone! We did not justify removal or not removing anyone. You knocking at wrong door.” He was accused of being in favour of the cabinet reshuffle.
The SAPS has allocated Crime Intelligence officers to investigate the death threats and hopefully, unearth the source of the Vavi family’s fears.