President Cyril Ramaphosa tore into his detractors saying the ANC could not go to war while it was divided with members sabotaging each other. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency/ANA

Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday tore into his detractors saying the African National Congress (ANC) could not go to war while it was divided with members sabotaging each other.

In apparent reference to the general elections next year, Ramphosa demanded unity to enable the party to do well. 

He made his remarks during his opening address at the Congress of South African Trade Unions' (Cosatu) 13th national congress held in Midrand.

In attendance was ANC secretary general Ace Magashule who has been accused of meeting former president Jacob Zuma to plot against Ramaphosa. Magashule has admitted to meeting Zuma at a Durban hotel but denies being part of a plot to oust Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa urged unity amongst the alliance and said they have to unite in order to win next year's elections.

"We should not spend time on counter-revolutionary machinations of weakening the ANC. If there is gonna be any plot, it must be a plot on end poverty," he said.

“Next year, we are going to face one of the most challenging elections. We cannot go to those elections divided. If there are any moves to divide the membership of the ANC that is counter-revolutionary. Just imagine we are going to a war and then we start fighting each other. What type of army are we?” 

The congress was attended by all the top ANC brass.

During the four-day congress, delegates will elect new leaders, with the federation's deputy president Zingiswa Losi likely to emerge as the first woman to lead Cosatu after Sdumo Dlamini.

It is expected that Cosatu will also discuss its support of the ANC and the South African Communist Party (SACP) ahead of next year’s elections.

African News Agency (ANA)