Zille blames violence on Cosatu

2012-05-15 15:39
Johannesburg - Police fired teargas during clashes on Tuesday between the Democratic Alliance and Cosatu union in Johannesburg, an AFP photographer said.

Footage on eNews television showed DA crowds marching and singing with raised fists. Some carried placards calling for "Youth wage subsidy now".

Clashes broke out when they were met in the streets by supporters of Cosatu.

DA leader Helen Zille, who led the march, blamed Cosatu for the violence.

"It was terrible. They didn't have permission to march and they used violence to disperse our march," Zille told AFP.

Both sides wounded

Police fired teargas at Cosatu supporters, dressed in red T-shirts, as they blocked off the DA marchers.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said the union "regretted the fact that there was an element of violence", but pointed out that supporters of both groups had been wounded.

The DA "have every right to march, but we see little point in a march" that is "provocative", Craven told AFP as protesters chanted around him.

The DA was marching to demand government wage subsidies for young people, which the party says will create over 400 000 jobs.

Cosatu opposes the subsidy.

Unemployment for 15-24 year-olds topped 50%, or more than 1.32 million people, in the third quarter of 2011, said the SA Institute of Race Relations, counting only people actively looking for work.


Read more on:    cosatu  |  da  |  youth  |  protests

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