Cosatu cancelled all speeches at its main May Day rally in Mangaung yesterday when it became clear that a large section of the crowd didn't want President Jacob Zuma to address them and booed him. Pictures: Nokuthula Mbatha

Johannesburg – Cosatu has denied that it boycotted the bilateral meeting between it and the ANC, and says the meeting was postponed due to the unavailability of some of its leaders.

The meeting was set to discuss the federation's decision to call for President Jacob Zuma to step down and the move to ban him from addressing any of its future events.

A separate alliance political council was also set to take place last week, but was also cancelled.

Cosatu said on Monday, in a statement, that it had communicated its decision with the ANC and will wait until the party comes up with a new date.

The ANC’s top six met on Sunday to prepare for the bilateral meeting.

The relationship between the alliance partners including the South African Communist Party (SACP) has been complicated in the last couple of months.

This was mainly due to Cosatu and the SACP's call for Zuma to step down, as well as public outcry following Zuma’s night-time reshuffle in March, where the alliance partners expressed unhappiness at not being consulted before the decision was made.

Cosatu members attending the May Day rally booed Zuma even before his address, leading to the cancellation of the event.

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