For those of you who don’t know who Zwelinzima Vavi is, he’s the General Secretary of COSATU i.e. the Congress of South African Trade Unions. Yes, Mr Vavi is pretty much the “B. A. Baracus” of South Africa’s Unions. The past couple of weeks, Comrade Vavi has been in the news for a different type of union though….a sex scandal. Married with children, Mr Vavi has admitted to having sex with the woman in question but denied raping her…which is what the woman had initially alleged.
Extra marital sex scandals are nothing new in the global political arena. Every country has its share of horny politicians. The difference though, lies in the ramifications of such adulterous engagements. You see, out in the world these “ramifications” usually involve resignations or straight up sackings…not so much on the African continent. We do things a little different. Let me give you some examples:
In the United States (US), Bill Clinton got some head from White House intern Monica Lewinsky, who I’m guessing was just trying to get “a-head” (pun totally intended). The scandal eventually led to his impeachment by the House for perjury. Meanwhile in South Africa (SA), Jacob Zuma was accused of rape and conceded during his trial in 2005 that he’d had extramarital sex with the woman in question. He refused to quit his political career in the wake of the sex scandal and instead went on to realise his dream of becoming the president of SA, a job he continues to enjoy today.
Still in the US, highly decorated army man David Petraeus had to resign as the Director of the CIA after an FBI investigation uncovered that he had an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. (If the Director if the CIA can’t keep an affair under wraps, what chance do us mere mortals have?). In SA however, Sports Minister Fikile “Fiks” Mbalula had to apologise to his wife after the lid was lifted on his sexual relationship with Johannesburg model, Joyce Molamu. Fiks actually knocked up Molamu then gave her R10,000 (about US$1,000) for an abortion. Fiks is still the Minister of Sport today.
In Holland, Jack de Vries, the Secretary for Defence, resigned after admitting to an extramarital affair with his personal aide. In Zimbabwe, Lieutenant Colonel Boniface (real name) Guwa Chidyausiku was being dragged through the courts by his wife Evelyn who was accusing him of adultery and violent abuse. Boniface is currently enjoying his role as Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation.
Over to Scotland, Tommy Sheridan, a member of the Scottish Parliament resigned as convener of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) after news he had committed adultery came to light. In Nigeria meanwhile, Ahmad Sani Yerima, a 53 year old Senator for Zamfara West, was alleged to have married a 13-year-old child bride from Egypt. This was after he had previously been accused of marrying a 15-year-old child bride five years earlier. In addition to currently being a senator, he’s also a Deputy Minority Leader in the Senate. In fact, when quizzed about his child bride shenanigans, his response was: “Ask me again why I support early marriage and I will slap the Jinn out of your head”. Yikes.
Remember Anthony Weiner? In what became known as “Weinergate”, the newly married US Congressman resigned after admitting to sending sexually suggestive photos of himself to several women through his Twitter account. Back on the continent, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai (who has just had his political ass whooped by President R.G. Mugabe in Zimbabwe’s presidential elections) has a love life more confused than a chameleon in a bag of skittles.
Even in China, Lei Zhengfu was sacked from his position as Chongqing Beibei District Party’s Secretary a few days after a sex tape with him in action went viral online. In Malawi, Ken Kandodo, who was Minister of Defence at the time, allegedly collapsed after taking too many Viagra pills to “keep up” with his teenage secondary school girlfriend during a marathon sex session. Didn’t even consider resigning over the matter.
So, back to present day, will Mr Zvelinzima Vavi resign over his extra-marital affair? Honestly? Probably not. But I guess a more pertinent question is: should he resign? Is adultery enough to justify dismissal from office? Or is infidelity a personal matter that has nothing to do with your capabilities at work? What do you think?
*just scribbling my adulterous thoughts*