The threat of regime change not only comes from outside, but also from those within the state, the Congress of SA Trade Unions said on Thursday.
"Part of the threat to our revolution is not only from outside, but from those deployed in the state who act arrogantly to undermine the needs of the people," general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali told reporters in Johannesburg.
"This includes the corrupt elements and those who choose to ignore or deliberately misinterpret the policies of the movement when implementing them."
Last Friday, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe told party supporters in Pretoria: "You must see through anarchy and people who are out there in a programme of regime change. We are aware of the meetings taking place regularly at the American embassy."
Ntshalintshali said the trade union federation would stage a defence against these elements, but would not be uncritical supporters of its alliance partners - the African National Congress and SA Communist Party - and government leadership.
"At the same time, when the leadership refuses to be decisive, we shall, in a principled fashion, speak out and embark on campaigns to ensure that the revolution stays on track," Ntshalintshali said.
He was addressing reporters following Cosatu's central executive committee (CEC) meeting this week.
Ntshalintshali said the CEC had agreed it would not yet debate the ANC's 2017 succession, as it was still too soon.
"It is both a divisive and a distracting debate that will not help the working class to tackle the priority issues confronting it."
At Cosatu's national congress in Midrand in November last year, some affiliates called for the principle that the ANC deputy president should become president.
This was seen as an endorsement of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
There was said to be a strong lobby group within the ANC which did not want Ramaphosa to succeed President Jacob Zuma as leader of the ANC, and eventually the country.
The group apparently wanted African Union commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to lead the ANC and to block Ramaphosa from taking over.
Cosatu's congress took no decision on supporting the deputy president and the proposal was referred to the CEC.
Ntshalintshali said the CEC wanted the recent alliance summit resolutions implemented.
This included taking decisive action taken against corrupt elements in the alliance, acting against the "use of money to influence election results" in the organisations, and gatekeeping, which led to people not receiving their membership cards from the ANC.
"The ANC is our movement and the leader of the alliance. We are however, calling on the current ANC leadership to unite the movement and be decisive in dealing with divisive characters and incidences reported to them."