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Day 2 of Cosatu congress underway

The congress started this morning with the election of a deputy general-secretary.

Cosatu President Sdumo Dlamini holds hands with union leadership during the opening day of the national congress. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Day two of The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)'s national congress began this morning with the election of a deputy general-secretary.

A vote will be conducted by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

Nominations for top leadership positions closed last night with only one post being contested.

S'dumo Dlamini retains his position as president, while Bheki Ntshalintshali has been elected unopposed to replace Zwelinzima Vavi.

Some delegates from unions like Nehawu and Popcru said they lobbied intensely for their preferred candidates last night and there may be another nomination when proceedings begin.

Today's vote follows a failed attempt by Fawu to have nominations for all leadership positions reopened last night.

South African Communist Party leader Blade Nzimande, is expected to address the congress today.

DIVISIONS

Yesterday, Dlamini said all 18 unions had pledged their support for the federation and there are no divisions.

He told hundreds of delegates gathered at the congress that the federation was faced with the decision to allow Cosatu to degenerate and be eaten away.

Dlamini said there are no enemies at the congress and that all the unions there are supporters of Cosatu.

He added the federation had been pulled left and right time after time and had to spend money defending itself in court.

He claimed some people want Cosatu to create an alternative but Cosatu members will stand up and defend their federation.

WATCH: Divisions riddle Cosatu national congress