Zwelinzima Vavi’s ex-mistress, Jacqueline Phooko, is demanding over R4 million in defamation costs from Vavi, Cosatu and Numsa.
Phooko accused Cosatu general secretary (Vavi) of rape. In court papers filed at the Johannesburg high court in September, Phooko claims that statements by Vavi, Cosatu and Numsa dismissing her rape allegations have damaged her reputation and rendered her unemployable.
Vavi admitted that he had sex with Phooko in her office at Cosatu headquarters in Johannesburg in January 2014, but that it was consensual.
Phooko is now demanding R600 000 from Vavi for saying that her sexual harassment case was a ploy to extort money from him and that she was being used by his political opponents in Cosatu to gain maximum advantage over him.
She is also suing Vavi for saying he did not know what he was doing with that “nopatazana” (woman with loose morals) while addressing a rally in his home township of Sada, near Whittlesea in the Eastern Cape, in September last year.
Phooko is further demanding R3-million from Cosatu for reputational damages after it carried Vavi’s statement on its website.
She is suing Numsa for R500 000 for a statement by its regional secretary in KwaZulu-Natal, Mbuso Ngubane, claiming the union was aware that certain powerful leaders in and outside Cosatu coerced Phooko to falsify the rape claim in order to destroy Vavi’s political career.