Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said state capture was eating away at the ANC, resulting in internal factions within the party and within the alliance.
Ramaphosa was addressing unions and their affiliates during the Cosatu central committee meeting in Irene.
He labelled state capture as the "elephant in the room", saying South Africans should welcome this weekend's stance by the ANC's national executive committee to accelerate the establishment of a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture.
He said issues of corruption, patronage and the capture of the state by outside entities are some of the challenges currently facing the party.
"The ANC wants it [a judicial commission of inquiry] to be implemented. This state capture issue is busy eating the ANC away. We want people to clear their names; we want the truth to free us; we want the ANC to return to its core business," Ramaphosa said.
"We must stop fighting one another. We are fighting for positions. We are fighting for power ... all of this is happening because of the elephant in the room."
Ramaphosa also spoke about radical economic transformation, saying the concept must not only be for those seeking to advance their own interests.
He said economic change should rather be defined as radical socio-economic transformation.
"As we change, our economy in ways that are going to advance the people as a whole, we need to focus on the impact on our society and how it is going to swell the ranks of the employed in our society," he said.
"At the centre of this must be the creation of decent work. Our country is confronted by huge challenges when it comes to the economy they are structural and systemic we need to uproot those problems."
He said radical economic transformation cannot be a "reckless rhetoric".
"You get a sense there is a hidden agenda that some people have when they chant about radical economic transformation,"
"It should not be a process where we will focus on certain individuals and certain families to line their own pockets using the concept of radical economic transformation."
He also spoke about issues relating to the downgrade of the economy into junk status and applauded Cosatu for their role in "giving a voice" to workers since its inception.