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ANC: Cosatu's divisions caused pain

Cyril Ramaphosa says Cosatu's principles should resolve this dispute.

Cyril Ramaphosa says Cosatu's principles should resolve this dispute. Picture: Sapa

JOHANNESBURG - The ANC says divisions within the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) have caused great pain for the party and has called on the federation to return to its founding principles.

Cosatu's biggest affiliates, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (Numsa), have been at loggerheads since Zwelinzima Vavi was suspended as general secretary eight months ago and this week agreed to allow the ANC to mediate a ceasefire.

The ruling party's deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa attended a special Cosatu Central Executive Committee meeting and has secured a one month truce in a bid to prevent a split.

Ramaphosa says Cosatu's unity is paramount and the desire to unite workers is enough for union leaders to put their differences aside.

"As the ANC we felt that we need all the liberation forces to be properly aligned and united."

The deputy president says Cosatu's principles should resolve this dispute.

"We were clear that a workers' union must not go out and poach members of another union under the federation."

The ANC team tasked with intervening is expected to meet with leaders of the unions in the coming weeks.