Cosatu condemns affiliates' joint meeting

Cosatu wants its members to protect the federation from attacks aimed at destroying it.

Cosatu says its members should work to protect the federation from attacks aimed at destroying it. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has condemned the press conference held by nine of its affiliates this week and says its members should work to protect the federation from attacks aimed at destroying it.

On Wednesday, the nine unions, who want a special congress to decide suspended general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi's fate, held a joint briefing.

The unions appear to be led by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, which has withdrawn its support for the ANC ahead of this year's elections.

In a statement, Cosatu denies the claim from the unions that it's not arranging a special congress and says they have all received letters explaining the process being followed.

It also denies there is any fishing expedition into Vavi's affairs and says Cosatu didn't leak information about the charges against him.

The powerful trade union federation also says there was full engagement with the ANC about its election manifesto and these unions are wrong to claim there wasn't.

This statement appears to be hard-hitting and is another indication of the huge tensions between the main body of Cosatu and nine of its unions.