In what was seen as a move that could strengthen relations in the tripartite alliance, which have been strained over former president Jacob Zuma, President Cyril Ramaphosa was invited to address the federation's central executive committee on Tuesday morning. But behind closed door, tensions surfaced.
According to Eyewitness News (EWN), Ramaphosa's meeting was seen as a move to repairing relations between the alliance partners. Cosatu reportedly campaigned for Ramaphosa's election but was highly critical of the ANC for its failure to take action against Zuma.
But on Tuesday, Cosatu reportedly made it clear that it wanted a say on how key decisions.
EWN reported that the federation wants to be consulted on the ANC's final decision on North West premier Supra Mahumapelo. Ramaphosa reportedly committed to meeting with Cosatu's leaders again before Friday to get their input on a report prepared by the interministerial task team he appointed to assess the North West situation.
Times Select reported that Ramaphosa was welcomed into the Cosatu building with praise songs, but Cosatu leaders soon voiced their displeasure with the ANC behind closed doors. Cosatu is apparently unhappy that it was not consulted on who would be in Ramaphosa's first cabinet, and Ramaphosa reportedly admitted that this was an oversight and promised consultations in the future.
Ramaphosa reportedly said after the meeting that the "important thing" was that the "platform for us to engage" had been strengthened.
"Our engagement even on issues we may not see eye to eye on should never (lead to) the alliance being weakened. It should actually be even more strengthened because we are a campaigning alliance, we are a governing alliance that needs to deal with issues and lead our people," he reportedly said.
Cosatu's general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali told eNCA in an interview after the meeting that the issues discussed included Ramaphosa's "thinking around jobs", the campaign against corruption, Ramaphosa's intervention in KZN political killings, whether he "still believes in the alliance".