DA to lay charges after protest violence

2012-05-16 08:18

Cosatu and DA clash in JHB

2012-05-15 18:34

A march by the Democratic Alliance in Johannesburg on Tuesday turned violent after they were met in the city by Cosatu members. The march by the DA was against Cosatu's opposition to the youth wage subsidies.WATCH

Johannesburg - The DA plans to lay charges against Cosatu after its march in Johannesburg on Tuesday turned violent.

Several DA supporters were injured when rocks and pieces of cement were thrown at them, and police used teargas and water cannons to disperse Cosatu members who had stopped DA members from protesting over the government's youth wage subsidy outside Cosatu's headquarters, according to reports.

DA leader Helen Zille said the violence was "absolutely deplorable".

"I think we were on Jorissen (Street) when I saw the first rock hailing down on us, huge rocks came at us. It was completely uncalled for. We were peaceful, and when Cosatu threw rock at us, we told our supporters not to retaliate.”

Zille slammed Cosatu for being "very selective" about constitutional rights, saying it would not tolerate anybody else doing what it claims it has the right to do every day.

"We will definitely lay charges, and continue to protest as we see fit, and not as Cosatu sees fit. We had the legal march. They had the illegal march," Zille told the Cape Argus.

Meanwhile, Cosatu has defended the hostility displayed by some of its members during the DA march.

"DA policies... will create no new jobs... and [will] lead to the impoverishment and enslavement of workers and [an] economic meltdown for South Africa," spokesperson Patrick Craven said in a statement.

"That is why workers are so hostile towards [DA leader] Helen Zille's party and want to express their justified anger, most especially when there are confronted on the street outside their federation's head office," he said.
Read more on:    cosatu  |  da  |  helen zille  |  johannesburg  |  protests  |  politics

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