We paid street traders for 'loss of income' caused by our march - DA

2016-01-28 16:35
(File: DA)

(File: DA)

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Johannesburg - The DA did pay street traders on the day of its march for jobs in Johannesburg, but it was to compensate them for loss of income.

DA spokesperson Mabine Seabe denied rumours that it paid people R100 to join its march for jobs in the Johannesburg CBD on Wednesday.

Seabe said the only financial exchange that took place was between the party and traders who had been moved from the area where the stage was erected.

He said the area belonged to the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA), which was supposed to enter into negotiations with the traders who used that area to run their businesses on the DA's behalf.

"They did not do this and the DA leaders in Gauteng had to do it themselves," Seabe said.

"Through a mutual agreement, they were compensated for monies lost on that day. It was an agreement between us and them."

Those who had taken part in the march were merely exercising their constitutional rights, he added.

"The DA does not pay its members to be at marches. Everyone who was at the march was practising their constitutional right to associate with the DA and the party's fight for building an inclusive and growing economy that creates jobs," he said.

Earlier, ZA News published an article with the headline "DA Pays R100 per person to attend the march".

In the article, the DA is accused of paying people R100, which was reportedly "justified as money for transport".

Thousands of people took part in the march led by DA leader Mmusi Maimane, who also used the event to record material for the DA's weekly newsletter.

March a 'stunt'

According to the article, a broadcaster interviewed a number of traders who said they were paid R100 in cash to be part of the march. ZA News said the DA ignored its request for a response on the matter.

The ANC, which saw the article on the same website, has since described the march, which was attended by thousands, as a "stunt".

"The African National Congress is shocked on how desperate and low the DA has stooped to score hollow political points, by abusing our people who are enticed to marches for a mere R100," spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said.

"The DA, in pursuit of its racist agenda, chose to take advantage of the poverty confronting our people by using them as pawns to further the interests of white minority who were not even visible in their march."

Kodwa said the ANC respected the freedom of association and protest, but accused the DA of being a party which abused black people in order to protect white capital.

He said, even with a black leader, the party "continues to be a home of racism".

"We call on our people to take a stand of not being used by racists masquerading as democratic formations," Kodwa said.

Earlier this month, during a debate hosted by Maimane on racism at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, a group of men told a News24 reporter that they were picked up on the side of the road and asked to attend "an important speech".

While Maimane made a call on all racists to not vote for his party, the five men sitting in the front row of the auditorium said they were not even sure why they were there.

"They just told us that we should come to an important speech, but we weren't told why or what it was about," Lucky Black said.

Another one of the men, Sipho Mkhize, said he was also asked to join, but that he did enjoy Maimane's speech.

Mkhize and his four colleagues were part of a mixed audience at the debate.

Read more on:    da  |  johannesburg

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