This after some Cosatu affiliates told the mother body that Zuma was not fit and proper to lead the country and having him speak at the Workers’ Day rally would send a “confusing message”.
Zuma was also expected to share the podium with South African Communist Party (SACP) leader Blade Nzimande, who has been calling for the President to step down.
Cosatu, SACP and the African National Congress (ANC) form the tripartite alliance, which has lately been experiencing ructions over Zuma’s continued leadership.
The fallout in the alliance erupted after Zuma reshuffled the Cabinet and fired finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas at the end of March.
The National Health Education & Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) and the Communications Workers Union (CWU) – both affiliates of Cosatu – have made it clear they do not want Zuma to address workers.
However, Cosatu and the ANC insist that Zuma will address the main Workers’ Day rally in Bloemfontein. Cosatu said Zuma would address workers in his capacity at the leader of the ANC.
It remained unclear what Nehawu and CWU would respond.
Cosatu warned in a statement on Sunday: “We need to work diligently to resolve our differences in a mature way and avoid being sucked into a vortex of political tribalism because it lends itself to myopia, and breeds the fallacy of composition.
“We should be wary of dismissing or throwing away an entire party or alliance as rotten on the grounds of one component we don’t like.”
ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said: “This May Day and beyond, the revolutionary alliance must and will continue to spare no effort to address the challenges faced within the alliance and its component parts.”