Cosatu: Dlamini slams affiliates who source money from overseas

S'dumo Dlamini’s statements were directly targeted at Numsa, Vavi & Cosatu affiliates loyal to them.

FILE: Congress of South African Trade Unions delegates at the union's special congress in Midrand on 13 July 2015. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) President S'dumo Dlamini has used his opening address at the trade union federation's special national congress to launch an attack on affiliates who source money from overseas.

He warned them against what he said is a vicious American system with a regime to change agenda.

Dlamini's statements were directly targeted at Numsa, former General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and the Cosatu affiliates that remain loyal to them.

He said the American system can be defeated and workers should be inspired by the release of the Cuban Five who were held for 15 years as political prisoners in the United States.

Dlamini said leaders are being used.

"It is about using some NGOs and some key and influential leaders, in any country they pick, to be agents that will be able to change cause within organisations so that those organisations are able to revolt."

WATCH: The battle to save Cosatu

Earlier, Dlamini said the federation has proved its critics wrong by having a constructive debate between all affiliates without any violence erupting at its Special National Congress, underway in Midrand.

The congress has been marred by controversy, with some delegates refusing to accept the credentials and agenda, eventually leading to a vote after 10 hours of discussions.

There was a heightened security presence at the congress on Monday, amid threats of disruptions, but the congress was able to conclude without any major incidents.

Dlamini said Cosatu emerged victorious after a day of tense discussion between affiliates.

"There was no blood on the floor. It was delegates engaging and trying to reach toward one another. The winner was Cosatu, all of us, those who were voting no and those who were voting yes."

Despite facing opposition from the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) Dlamini applauded the union's president for remaining in the plenary despite a walkout by his members.

"I was told the president of Fawu is still here. We are building our Cosatu. Affiliates of Cosatu are here."