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Ramaphosa addresses Cosatu CEC

The gathering comes amid speculation that the trade union federation could expel its largest affiliate.

ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG -Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)'s Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting is still underway, despite attempts by ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to put off what could be the beginning of the end for the federation.

The gathering comes amid speculation that the trade union federation could expel its largest affiliate, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa).

Ramaphosa addressed the meeting earlier this afternoon.

His involvement in the meeting could be a sign of how worried the ANC is that Cosatu is about to split.

Numsa already claimed the CEC was preparing to throw it out of Cosatu after it withdrew its support for the ANC in December.

Its exit could lead to eight other unions leaving the federation, and result in the creation of a new labour union formation and political party.

Ramaphosa may have argued that any split should be delayed until after the elections to avoid weakening the ANC itself.

Recently reinstated Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi could play a key role in this meeting.

It's his first CEC gathering after the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Friday ruled that his suspension from Cosatu was illegal and unlawful.

He was placed on special leave last year after admitting to having consensual sex with a junior employee at work.