Johannesburg - Former president Nelson Mandela never "sold out", a Congress of SA Trade Unions representative said at a special ceremony to pay tribute to Mandela at Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria on Saturday morning.
Cosatu deputy general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali told those present Mandela was the first recipient of the congress's highest award.
"It is given to those who have never sold out and taken the movement into disrepute."
He said workers had held Mandela in their hearts and the former president had supported their interests.
"Cosatu will work hard, to the last drop of our energy... We will do our best to ensure the ANC wins the  election with a decisive majority."
Mandela's body will be flown from the base to the Eastern Cape later on Saturday morning. He will be buried in Qunu, where he spent most of his childhood, on Sunday. - Sapa