Critical Cosatu CEC meeting convenes

Zwelinzima Vavi was quoted as saying the meeting is Cosatu’s most important gathering in 30 years.

Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has confirmed that its central executive committee (CEC) is meeting in what general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has been quoted as saying is the federation's most important gathering in nearly 30 years.

The African National Congress (ANC) task team, led by deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, is reporting back on whether he's been able to find a way of preventing Cosatu from expelling the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and possibly causing the federation to split.

Ramaphosa, deputy ANC secretary general Jessie Duarte and Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel are part of this meeting, explaining whether they believe there is a way to stop Cosatu from splitting.

It's understood that at the CEC's last meeting, union leaders were about to vote to expel Numsa before the deputy president entered the room and was able to convince them to pause the process.

But the leaders of some unions are likely to be even angrier now if Ramaphosa reports that Numsa tried to undermine the conciliation process.