DA march violence regrettable – Vavi

2012-05-15 17:00

Cosatu general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi described the violence that marred the DA’s march to the union federation’s Braamfontein head office as “regrettable”.

Speaking after Cosatu had halted the DA’s progress this afternoon, Vavi said violence from both sides was regrettable.

He said Cosatu’s intention was to allow DA marchers to come to Cosatu’s head office but workers could not tolerate the march.

About a dozen injuries – mostly head injuries – were reported on both sides during the march against Cosatu’s opposition to the youth wage subsidy.

He said the march was good because it unmasked the DA as an organisation that exploits Africans.

Vavi said Cosatu was firm in its stance that the youth wage subsidy would further entrench poverty and inequality.

Earlier, outside Cosatu House, SA Communist Party Gauteng chairperson Joe Mpisi claimed the DA had rented the crowd, giving people in poverty stricken areas R200 and a free T-shirt as an incentive to march.

“Take that money, but come 2014 general elections vote for the African National Congress,” Mpisi said.

Mail and Guardian journalist Nickolaus Bauer was among the people who were injured.

The DA has threatened to lay charges against Cosatu after assessing the damage.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini said the federation would ask for a report from senior police officers because the federation’s members were dispersed with water canons and through the use of rubber bullets after the DA marchers had dispersed without delivering their memorandum.

Police also fired teargas at DA supporters after one of the party’s members was injured, allegedly after being struck by a stone from a Cosatu protester.

The man was taken to Milpark Hospital.

“After today, no one will ever come to piss here,” Dlamini said.

“We were under attack, you can see a person with no knowledge of war. They act like the DA,” he added.

Dlamini said he saw the DA and its leader, Helen Zille, running away today.

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