Cosatu's Zingiswa Losi had a bitter fallout with her former colleague Zwelinzima Vavi back then, but while he departed from the labour federation to form his own, she rose to become its president. Navigating the alliance politics that caused many of her predecessors to fall might prove to be tough.
Moments after her rise to the presidency of Cosatu was announced at its conference on Thursday, Zingiswa Losi was carried to the stage and female delegates danced around her, singing a variation on the women's struggle song: "Wathinta Losi, wathint' imbokodo" (When you strike Losi, you strike a rock).
Losi herself beamed with emotion, clasping her hands together, nodding with a look of gratitude. She was the only nominee for the position, and there was no contestation for the other five positions either.
She was backed by education, health and allied workers' union, Nehawu, one of Cosatu's biggest, and other influential...