Sources in the federation last night told The Citizen topping the agenda were questions on whether recently reinstated general secretary Vavi should be suspended, and whether the second deputy president Zingiswa Losi should be removed.
The sources said the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) was pushing for the removal of Losi, calling on Cosatu to hold a special congress, and defending Vavi against another possible suspension.
“It was a very tense meeting that showed strong divisions in Cosatu,” said a source who asked not to be named.
“The meeting started after 11am after the ANC failed to convince Cosatu to postpone it. The nine unions supporting Vavi also tried to ask for a postponement, but failed. It seems Vavi will not be suspended, because that will divide Cosatu further.”
Before the start of the meeting a jovial Vavi was seen singing and dancing alongside Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini and Losi.
Losi resigned from her position as Numsa shopsteward at a motor company in Port Elizabeth and immediately ceased to be a Numsa member.
Numsa, which is Cosatu’s largest affiliate, has subsequently called for her removal from the federation’s leadership.
The Citizen has learnt Losi has recently joined the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) as a shopsteward, which is another anti-Vavi Cosatu affiliate.
Popcru general secretary Nkosinathi Theledi would neither confirm, nor deny Losi’s move. Attempts to contact Cosatu were unsuccessful.
Another insider said the ANC, represented by deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, pleaded with the unions affiliates to resolve their differences amicably and work towards unity.
“The ANC is worried about divisions in Cosatu as this will affect its performance in the elections.”
Cosatu affiliates opposed to Vavi include the National, Education, Health and Allied Workers Union and the South African Democratic Teachers Union.
Some of the anti-Vavi unions are believed to be pestering Cosatu to suspend him for his alleged malpractice in the purchase of a building housing Cosatu’s head offices.