Over the years, bitter factionalism has torn at the labour federation and caused deep fissures.
Eight rebel unions who sympathise with Numsa and Vavi are working with them to try to force a discussion about the transformation of Cosatu.
A divided Cosatu spells a bleak outlook for economic stability. For both the public and private sectors, there will be no winner.
Unions are going out of business, presenting the ANC with a political and economic dilemma.
The biggest losers in the Cosatu-Numsa battle seem to be the ANC, SACP and Cosatu – and the real price is set to come in the 2016 municipal elections.
Sources within the federation said it was a "done deal" that new union Mawusa was replacing Numsa in Cosatu.
The union federation’s rising professional class is out of step with its hard-pressed, unskilled members.
Whether the metalworkers’ union forms a political party or not, its expulsion from Cosatu will hit the ruling party in the 2016 municipal elections.
Disgruntled union leaders are working to form a new federation after the expulsion of Numsa, Cosatu’s largest affiliate.