"CRASS materialism" and "tenderpreneurs" in the ANC leadership are endangering the ruling party, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has warned.
"The new tendency is trying hard to take us back to the politics of labelling, back-stabbing, rumour and scandal-mongering, marginalisation and the closure of state for free and democratic debate."
Vavi was speaking after Cosatu's first central executive committee meeting of the year.
Vavi said: "The stories of the recent weeks beg the question as to whether our stance that public representatives should not be involved in business because of inherent contradictions of interests should not be extended to all leaders of political formations."
The "small right wing tendency" is being led by materialists and tenderpreneurs. It was not supported by the majority of the ANC's leadership but there were worrying signs that this tendency is succeeding in silencing most ANC leaders.
Vavi was referring to a group hoping to oust current ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe in the party's 2012 elective conference.
"As we have said before this small group is impatient and is not even prepared to wait for the normal process of nomination and given a space they may move a vote of no confidence on those they regard as sitting ducks."
ANC Youth League president Julius Malema has come out in support of Deputy Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to replace Mantashe in 2012.
Vavi said Cosatu supported the National Union of Metalworkers of SA's position on the matter.
Numsa has criticised President Jacob Zuma for failing to defend Mantashe against an onslaught from the youth league.
"Not just the president failed to defend the secretary general but the national executive committee as a whole," Vavi said.
He also warned that the action of this group would catapult the ANC into "unprecedented crisis" and may destroy its unity and cohesion forever.
Vavi, however, reiterated Cosatu's commitment to the ruling alliance with the ANC and the SA Communist Party.
He reiterated Cosatu's disappointment at Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's budget speech and at Eskom's approved tariff hikes for the next three years. - Sapa