POLITICS LIVE: Why Cosatu's backing is a big deal for Ramaphosa
Put those silly season trinkets away and pay attention.
This just in: Cosatu has thrown its weight behind Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed Jacob Zuma as president of the ANC - and therefore of the country.
This is big because it gives Ramaphosa a national constituency and the backing of the most organised - albeit fading - formation inside the ANC tent. Cosatu offers him the capacity to lobby and influence the ANC at branch level, a crucial stepping stone to winning at an ANC conference.
It also suggests that the Marikana ghost, which has haunted him since he was accused of backing the police action against strikers, has finally been laid to rest.
This from Natasha Marrian's story on BusinessLIVE:
The endorsement of Ramaphosa has been a long time coming with most Cosatu unions long lobbying for the federation to take a position and publicly announce it.
The move is a blow for President Jacob Zuma and his allies who are pushing for AU commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to take over.
Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali speaking after Cosatu's central executive committee said federation bosses reflected on the "political gridlock" currently in the ANC.
"... after intense and robust debate the CEC resolved to support and lobby for the Deputy President of the ANC, cde Cyril Ramaphosa to take over the reigns as the president of the ANC," Ntshalintshali said.
Cosatu is set to lobby and influence ANC structures to support Ramaphosa.
It also came out in support of a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture to look into the alleged corrupt relationship between Zuma, Cabinet ministers and the Gupta family.
The ball is now firmly in Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's court and you can expect the Zuma-aligned structures of the ANC - its women's and youth leagues, for example - to come out in support of her in the coming weeks.
The country's biggest labour federation and key ally to the ANC in national polls has put its weight behind Cyril Ramaphosa. Political analyst Ebrahim Fakir provides more perspective on the dynamics at play.