Cosatu e-toll protesters disperse

2013-05-24 11:56
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E-toll protest in Johannesburg

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) is studying the court ruling halting its planned e-toll protest, but a few opponents of e-tolls still gathered at Cosatu House in Johannesburg Friday morning. See the photos.

Johannesburg - A group of protesters who had gathered outside Cosatu headquarters on Friday morning dispersed after the march against e-tolls was cancelled.

The group, clad in Congress of SA Trade Unions colours, had been singing anti-e-toll slogans outside the offices throughout the morning.

They marched up and down the adjacent Simmonds Street under the watchful eye of members of the Johannesburg metro police, the SA Police Service, and provincial traffic officials.

The Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday dismissed Cosatu's application to embark on a drive-slow protest on the city's highways.

Cosatu approached the court after metro police refused it permission for the protest.

Campaign to intensify

Cosatu Gauteng secretary Dumisani Dakile told the protesters that the campaign against e-tolls in the province would intensify.

"We respect the law, but if other people are going to manipulate it, then we will defy [it]."

He said Cosatu was getting impatient with authorities.

"What they are doing is trying to provoke us... the patience is running out. If they want another Marikana we will give it to them on a silver platter."

He accused the JMPD of "deliberately" halting the march by not granting permission to do so.

Dakile said Johannesburg metro police had asked for an upfront payment of R2m for the protest to go ahead.

"We have never paid money in order to exercise our constitutional right. We are not prepared to pay even half a cent... let them go to hell."

According to Dakile metro police told Cosatu it had a sworn statement stating there would be violence at the march.

"We have had many marches, peaceful marches. That is their plan to stop us."

Ekurhuleni march

The union federation is set to meet with Ekurhuleni Metro officials at 15:00 on Friday to discuss another anti-e-toll protest planned for 31 May at the metro, said Dakile.

"We want to know about their decision by Monday, so that we can know what action to take."

The Ekurhuleni march would see thousands block the N3, N12, the R24 and the R21, he said.

"If no permission is granted, even if we had gone through all legal processes, Cosatu will go ahead with the protests."

- Were you there? Send us your photos.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  johannesburg  |  tolls

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