The war over Julius Malema's R140million tender is ripping the tripartite alliance apart.
Last night ANC Youth League attacked Cosatu and the SA Communists Party, calling for a "lifestyle audit" of "Mr R500 000 plastic" - Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande.
ANCYL Gauteng leader Thabo Kupa did not refer to Nzimande by name. But it is well known that Cope MP and former Cosatu president Willie Madisha accused Nzimande a few years ago of receiving a plastic bag containing R500 000 cash that never made it into the organisation's bank account.
Nzimande has denied receiving the money.
ANCYL gave notice that they would step up the war against their allies at a press conference in Johannesburg this morning.
Defying president Jacob Zuma's instruction not to publicly lobby for new ANC leaders, Kupa said: "ANCYL Gauteng and we believe the rest of the country are singing Fikile Mbalula for ANC Secretary General in 2012."
He also threatened to "fix the rotten Public Enterprise and Mining Departments run by ministers Barbara Hogan and Buyelwa Sonjica. Hogan refused to capitulate to the ANCYL's demand that she appoint Siyabonga Gama as head of Transnet, and Sonjica recently angered the ANCYL by saying there would be no nationalisation of the mines in her lifetime.
ANCYL Northern Cape leader Dikgang Stock said Malema and the broader leadership were only "reaping what they have sowed as hard working citizens of this country".
Mpumalanga leader Isaac Mahlangu said "we are witnessing the intensification of dirty lobbying for the June 2011 ANCYL national congress and the ANC 2012 national conference".
"We can smell the influence of brown envelope in these articles," he added.
The ANC had earlier yesterday said Malema had not contravened any law or code of ethics by his involvement in business deals.
Spokesperson Brian Sokutu said Malema was not at fault. "Comrade Malema is neither a member of Parliament nor a cabinet minister and he has therefore not broken any law or code of ethics by being involved in business deals," he said.
Reports that Malema's lifestyle was being bankrolled by state contracts worth R140million had been met with fury.
Revelations of Malema's business dealings came in the wake of a call by Cosatu that there should be a lifestyle audit of all public representatives.
Now the league has accused Cosatu and the SACP of targeting Malema.
Spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said yesterday they intended exposing leaders of the two movements involved.
"They claim to be workers' leaders and go around spreading rumours that the youth league leadership is corrupt, while they are the most corrupt," said Shivambu.
Malema is reported to be the co-owner of SGL Engineering Projects, which has received R140million worth of government contracts over the last two years.
The company was "awarded dozens of contracts" since 2003 - often from cash-strapped municipalities in Limpopo.
Most of the deals were for delivering water, sewerage and roads projects to poor communities - and Malema's firm allegedly failed to deliver on some of them.
When asked to comment on the allegations, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi told Sowetan: "I am not shocked."
Vavi said he would not comment further on "Malema's reported wealth".
But Cope deputy president Mbhazima Shilowa yesterday accused Vavi of being a hypocrite.
He told Sowetan that "half the ANC NEC" is doing what Malema does.