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DA march turns nasty

By Hlengiwe Nhlabathi, Lerato Moeketse and Canaan Mdletshe | May 16, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 949 ]

The DA marched to Cosatu House in Johannesburg to force the union to change its negative stance on the youth wage subsidy, arguing that the subsidy would create about 400,000 jobs

THE Democratic Alliance's youth wage subsidy march was dealt a major blow yesterday when its members were prevented from reaching Cosatu House in Braamfontein by the labour union federation members.

A handful of police officers at the march failed to control the crowd, resulting in several people, including a journalist, being injured when objects - including stones - were thrown at them.

Cosatu members spared no one, with DA leader Helen Zille, youth leader Makashule Gana, parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko and national spokesman Mmusi Maimane, who all led the protest, also targeted.

Police had to fire teargas and rubber bullets during the confrontation to control the crowd.

On Sunday, National Union of Mineworkers secretary Irvin Jim had warned Zille to stop the march ... "or else".

The DA marched to Cosatu House in Johannesburg to force the union to change its negative stance on the youth wage subsidy, arguing that the subsidy would create about 400,000 jobs.

In its fierce opposition, Cosatu is charging that employers would fire old workers to employ youngsters.

The matter is currently being discussed at the National Economic Development and Labour Council.

A DA member was seen lying on the ground in agony after he was hit by a rubber bullet in his private parts.

Another protester bled from one eye.

DA members were unable to hand over their memorandum to Cosatu leaders as union members forced them to turn back.

Neither Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini nor general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi condemned the violence.

Earlier, before the two leaders came out of the Cosatu building, a war of words erupted between Maimane and three other men who refused to identify themselves, only saying they were "Cosatu leaders".

Maimane had asked them to call Vavi to come and receive the memorandum.

But the request fell on deaf ears as the three repeatedly yelled: "You are provoking us! Voetsek, go and talk to the government, go to Parliament."

Dlamini later told Cosatu members: "... all we can say is, thank you for defending this house. No one will ever think of coming to piss here".

Vavi said: "(Zille) is stripped naked. Everywhere, everyone will know the difference between uncompromising principled positions of the working class and (those) of the DA.

"I don't need a wife, I have a very beautiful wife. I am already married, we are not up for the takers. We are married to the ANC. We are married to the SACP and we are married to the Freedom Charter."

A block away, Zille addressed her members who had retreated, accusing the African National Congress of not caring for the people.

Alternating between isiXhosa and English, she said: "You put us here (in government) and you gave us power. We proposed the youth wage subsidy, President (Jacob) Zuma said 'yes' and put aside R5-billion, and Cosatu says 'no'. Who elected Cosatu (into government?)."

During her address, stones and all sorts of objects continued to rain, forcing her to take cover.

Meanwhile, a Democratic Alliance T-shirt was torched by Cosatu members during the union's picket at the party's offices in Mount Edgecombe, north of Durban, yesterday.

A handful of Cosatu members, including the union's provincial secretary Zet Luzipho and South African Democratic Teachers' Union provincial secretary Mbuyiseni Mathonsi, gathered outside Fairways.

They sang anti-Zille songs.

Democratic Alliance provincial youth chairman Nathaniel Bricknell emerged, argued with the protesters and then threw a DA T-shirt at them. They tore it into pieces before burning it.

COMMENTS [ 949 ]

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cocolucho - "leading people to a situation in which she knew violence was to be expected."

Yeah, we should always expect violence from COSATU. Lesson learnt.

May 16, 2012 12:41 | 0 replies


Well aint you the cherry picker of note.

Please note that when the West detects a murdering dictator in it's midst, the rest of the western countries club together to get rid of guys like uMnr A Hitler.

Or did you think that Thabo Mbeki won WW2?


May 16, 2012 12:33 | 0 replies

bad girl Helen bad girl, when a man rejects your advances you shld take that gracefully and not try to gatecrash his house, Vavi wants nothing to do with the DA, so you decided to harass him in his turf, nci nci nci bad move with desperate intentions,

Now there is going to be a court case, Jaja don't be mad you will just mediate to a political solution to this problem, mos... like you will apply TRC and then everyone shall have to move on and not dwell in the past.

You know the DA.....full of baloney as usual. You do not try to force your way into a man's house and think you will live to tell the story.

May 16, 2012 12:33 | 0 replies

I dnt think I want to be part of ANC no more

May 16, 2012 12:32 | 0 replies

FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!LOL.

May 16, 2012 12:32 | 0 replies

I am looking forward to the next strike by one of these unions as I will be waiting, no itching to give them some of their own medicine when they start behaving like hooligans.
hayi wena Jessica you are suicidal yhoo lol

May 16, 2012 12:32 | 0 replies


Would you like me to give you the contact details of all the employees who the government is paying to work at this organisation?

No, I would like you to understand that the wage subsidy HAS NOT BEEN IMPLEMENTED yet, by claiming successes you are either lost or deliberately telling lies to support your argument.

Because im prepared to give you empirical evidence showing you that the subsidy has has been implemented to some degree. You are now refusing to accept my empirical evidence because you are sh!t scared the DA might actually have some credit on this issue.

May 16, 2012 12:32 | 0 replies

The-Rothschilds - No the apartheid government kill3d a gazillion people :P

May 16, 2012 12:31 | 0 replies

OMG Soma ,hahahhahahaahahha stone throwing festival (im sure Mthembu is now sober that his warning was ignored and people injured),Violence will never solve anything,your comments today are getting Sin hyped
I just want us to be relaxed about things the DA should have thinta inyoka isemgodi shem, they must admit they were ill advised in this action, to blame Cosatu for it is childish, its like you putting your finger in the mouse trap, what do you expect will happen, hayi man ne DA nayo yhazi and they want to be the gov one day, they can't even calculate risk on a small scale, can you imagine if they have to manage risk for the entire country and ultimately the continent, hayi yhazi I wish there was an alternative so that the anc and the da could be left to sort themselves out.

May 16, 2012 12:30 | 0 replies


Whether the DA marches for g.ay rights or for obese people.............they have the right to march without been intimidated with violence.

That is democracy.

I’ll repeat;

1. the DA has every right to March or protest, you are correct.

2. COSATU also has a right NOT TO entertain marches they know are a farce, ill-informed and takes advantage of the very people they represent.

Now which of the above statements do you not understand?

G.ay rights also takes advantage of peoples consciences that are highly religous, does this mean they should go and throw rocks at those marching for g.ay rights?

COSATU has a right not to accept the DA's demands of the youth wage subsidy, it does not have the right to attack those marching in support of it. .

If COSATU had laughed off this march and said today, "The DA's march does not change our view on the subsidy and will engage on this issue with them" , COSATU may have actually humiliated the DA today.............but they have actually f*cked themselves over with the violence!

May 16, 2012 12:30 | 0 replies

Dzel - Sure, heres a l1nk on DA defending workers rights:[24].com/SouthAfrica/News/DA-launches-plan-for-domestics-20110928

May 16, 2012 12:30 | 0 replies