DA lays charges against Cosatu

2012-05-16 15:39

Johannesburg - DA national spokesperson Mmusi Maimane laid charges against Cosatu on Wednesday after a protest by the party turned violent in Johannesburg.

Charges of incitement of violence, intimidation and illegal gathering were laid at the Hillbrow police station at noon.

The DA would also analyse footage of the march to try and identify individual perpetrators, Democratic Alliance spokesperson Kelly Miller said.

"We hope first of all that we must all accept the rule of law, and we must accept that everything we do must be within legal parameters," Maimane said.

Rocks and pieces of cement flew in a confrontation between DA and Cosatu supporters in Braamfontein on Tuesday.

Police used teargas and water cannons to disperse Cosatu members, who stopped the DA from protesting outside its headquarters.

Miller said four party members were hospitalised, and a number of others injured.


The DA wanted Cosatu to stop stonewalling a government youth wage subsidy that, it argued, would create thousands of new jobs for young people.

Maimane said Cosatu had behaved "undemocratically".

"They [Cosatu] came out in their numbers, holding an illegal march, and holding in contempt the idea that the youth wage subsidy should be considered."

Cosatu was not contesting the youth wage subsidy because it had not come up with an alternative, he said.

"They have made it a contest of people, a contest of class. For the benefit of our democracy, we must make it a contest of ideas."

A working environment must be created which could address the concerns of South Africa's young people.

Traded insults 

"The issue we are going to fight for is that people must be employed," Maimane said.

The march, led by DA leader Helen Zille, youth leader Makashule Gana, parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko and Maimane, began peacefully.

But when the protesters turned into Jorissen Street in Braamfontein, they were met by toyi-toying Cosatu members moving down the street from Cosatu's offices, opposite the Joburg Theatre.

For an hour, the two groups traded insults, with a cordon of police keeping them apart.

When rocks and pieces of cement were thrown into the crowd during Zille's speech and a DA member on the VIP truck was seriously injured, the DA retreated to Jan Smuts Avenue.

Cosatu members then chased DA supporters and police had their hands full trying to control groups intent on hounding blue-shirted protesters out of the area.

Police eventually sprayed teargas and fired a high-pressure water gun to break up the Cosatu crowd.

  • Henri - 2012-05-16 15:43

    i can see this ending in a "sorry" or a long dragged out case that ends up into nothing

      Jamie Hilsdon - 2012-05-16 15:48

      Yes and any apology from cosatu will at best be half hearted, this is where the justice system needs to grow a pair and say actions like the ones we saw from cosatu members yesterday are not acceptable and punish the body with something more than a slap on the wrist

      Christelle - 2012-05-16 15:49

      What concerns me greatly about this is a Zimbabwe scenario. Should SA be blessed one day that another party takes the polls - will the mob turn violent and keep the ANC in power like Zanu-PF is doing in Zim? But on the positive side - I am extremely happy to see how many African youth stood with the DA against Cosatu.

      Werner - 2012-05-16 15:52

      The ANC will never accept losing in a democratic election. It will be all Third force, Apartheid, white imperialists, capitalists and who knows what......

      Christopher - 2012-05-16 15:59

      Oh... the white dude that wants to be a black dude is back...@White tsotsi...the lice in your hair is eating your brain cells dude.

      Peter - 2012-05-16 16:00

      @WhiteTsotsi and why not? Why couldnt they be there? There was nothing chaotic until Cosatu decided to make it chaotic. Stop defending the barbaric behaviour

      WhiteTsotsi - 2012-05-16 16:05

      Smilification : That is a very mature reponse to a real issue. I will not lower myself to start attacking people in the way you do. This is not a DA only site, and if my views upset you so much. Just do not read them. No need to get barbaric.

      Smili - 2012-05-16 16:07

      White totsi - Judging by you thumbs down... you are a retard who is insulting everyone! Get it? D&mb*ss...

      WhiteTsotsi - 2012-05-16 16:14

      I insulted no one. I do not care what the majority think of my view. I am an individual that can choose who I want to support. Who cares about thumbs downs. You can try and provoke me as much as you want. Ek gaan regtig nie na jou vlak daal en mense begin vloek nie. If you do not like my opinion, give it a thumbs down, and if you have anything to contribute in a civil manner, feel free to do so. Insults does not contribute to anything.

      Vuyo - 2012-05-16 16:15

      Those of us , who were aware of how during the 80's people were necklaced or killed for disagreeing with there then liberation fighters will not be surprised . The DA has a right like anybody to protest , it is not a right for ANC aligned parties only .

      Allan - 2012-05-16 16:15

      @Zoolie, an apology from COSATU? you stand a better chance of Mugabe falling pregnant

      Razz - 2012-05-16 16:18

      @ White Tsotsi. I agree with your statement. You don't fight Fire with Fire. The DA has much better mentality than the Cosatu rascals. Why engage in a march. Surely, there are better ways and means how to deal with this issue. @Smilification. Sorry but your mentality is as low as a Cosatu supporter.

      Peter - 2012-05-16 16:24

      @Razz Because the normal channels failed. Cosatu refuses to listen, so what now, must the country now give in everytime cosatu say no? Thats why they marched there was no other course of action.

      Ken - 2012-05-16 16:59

      I hope not. I hope that the courts find against these thugs and award damages and costs. It is time to put these people in their place, they are neither fish nor fowl. No one voted for them in elections but they insist on telling the ANC what to do. Government (all elected parties) want a return of apprentices. How the hell are the young going to learn any skills? I believe Cosatu leadership is setting the ANC up for a big fall.

      Peter - 2012-05-16 17:25

      @@Craig - And you are contributing?

  • E=MC2 - 2012-05-16 15:43

    YOU GO DA! Give them a taste of their own medicine!!!

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-05-16 15:50

      GOOD !!! They must take those Cosatu THUGS to jail !!! Useless rock-throwing tsotsis !!!

      E=MC2 - 2012-05-16 15:53

      Couldnt have said it better myself Charles ;)

      WhiteTsotsi - 2012-05-16 15:56

      WHy create more tension. The DA is really beginning to use dirty tactics in my view. They are trying to score voters, and this has blown up in their face!

      Peter - 2012-05-16 16:04

      @WhiteTsotsi - So Cosatu isnt using dirty tactics? Nothing gets dirtier than violence, why can you not comprehend this?

      Peter - 2012-05-16 16:10

      @WhiteTsotsi - Im all for a debate, but you cant debate if you are going to be so obviously bias and not see things from both sides. The DA did everything by the books and they have every right to take Cosatu to court. If you were in their position you would too. If Cosatu marched to DA HQ and DA met them halfway and started throwing rocks you have every reason to defend them because the DA would be completely in the wrong. But you cant honestly argue the DA has dont a single thing wrong this time. I can see your trying to critique them on their approach but they have freedom of choice they made a choice and they were met with violence by the same group that has now violently attacked SAPO.

      Vuyo - 2012-05-16 16:18

      Our democracy is maturing . Other parties are also seeing the advantages of marching and voicing their opinion openly and Cosatu is jealous .

      Peter - 2012-05-16 16:30

      @WhiteTsotsi - by the way you are indirectly condoning their violence. Everyone says "oh, but they shouldnt have been there to begin with". So you are accepting that they will become violent and yet you dont complain about it, as if its a natural thing for them to do

      Peter - 2012-05-16 16:43

      @WhiteTsotsi - if they hadnt marched the issue would not have been brought to light as this policy has been sitting around for 3 years now. Since October 2009. Cosatu has been blocking it, what would you suggest DA have done since the normal channels havent worked since they started campaigning it since August 2010... Do some research it will go along way

      Jason - 2012-05-16 16:59

      WhiteTsotsi - Stop being such a girl. Anyone for whatever reason may with the permission of authorities march for any reason that they deem fit on the provision that they do so in a peaceful manner. what difference does it make if they were trying to score voters, prove a point, fill their day with mindless marching rhetoric. Cosatu does not have a fort for a headquarters, this is not some 15th century realm in need of defence, a our side against theirs scenario. the brutality that was on display is indicative of the nature of the beast, such behaviour cannot be condoned, justified or reasonably explained in modern day society. please do not pander to show your just, balanced sit on the wall commentary when ppls blood lies on the streets for no reason whatsoever.

  • Ken - 2012-05-16 15:44

    Let the Suing commence. May the DA hit them hard.

      Peter - 2012-05-16 16:15

      @nhamo.dzenyika - Its not military airspace, if Cosatu can march where they want why cant the DA?

      Ken - 2012-05-16 16:48

      @nhamo.dzenyika We can leave that for South African law to decide. Last time I checked Cosatu was not a separate state or country. What is "COSATU space'? Something like a gangsters turf?

      Press - 2012-05-16 19:33

      Yes - and sue them for all your organisational expenses as well - COSATU's violent actions led to you not completing your mission.

  • Herman - 2012-05-16 15:46

    Fry the bastards!

      Peter - 2012-05-16 17:37

      @Craig - In response to you comment on the very first comment, this applies to this comment as well. What are your comments contributing to civilization?

  • Sharon - 2012-05-16 15:46

    Bloody marvellous, DA! They have never been challenged, it is time they learned that they are not above the law. Bring them to book, they deserve everything you can dish out to them tenfold! No amount of backpedalling from Cosau can change the facts - GUILTY GUILTY!

      Peter - 2012-05-16 17:38

      @Craig - In response to you comment on the very first comment, this applies to this comment as well. What are your comments contributing to civilization?

  • Christopher - 2012-05-16 15:46

    I love it when a plan comes together...the ANC, Cosatu and friends are imploding, they destroying themselves...Just amazing.

      Christopher - 2012-05-16 15:48

      Shall we start a new government, it won't be long now!!

  • evdwesthuizen1 - 2012-05-16 15:49

    Who is gonna investigate? Mduli??

      Christopher - 2012-05-16 15:55

      Investigate? We know he is guilty, with our new government we know... I am sure I thought he was a crocodile next to the small children by the river, ok pool...

  • Tsotsi-Baby - 2012-05-16 15:49

    COSATU must lay charges 2 #Power to COSATU

      Werner - 2012-05-16 15:52

      You are quite correct. They MUST bring their members to book!

      E=MC2 - 2012-05-16 15:54

      hahaha nice Werner! :)

      evdwesthuizen1 - 2012-05-16 15:58

      ja. lay charges against their ill disciplined buffoons!

      Tsotsi-Baby - 2012-05-16 15:59

      We the RED team also suffered casualties

      Christopher - 2012-05-16 16:01

      We the BLUE team was striked upon first!

      Peter - 2012-05-16 16:01

      @Tsotsi-Baby - You realize they will be laughed out of court, there is no proof of injury and they were their illegally? seriously can you not comprehend this at all?

      Smili - 2012-05-16 16:12

      Brain injuries which were there before the DA march are not the DA's fault little troll...

  • temudau - 2012-05-16 15:51

    Lol this is micky mouse adventure #glued# wl c where this wil end up

      E=MC2 - 2012-05-16 15:55

      crisis... grammar temudau! Cosatu member i'd say?

      Smili - 2012-05-16 16:00

      ANC/Cosatu... all the same... clueless dimwits whom flunked everything except woodworking...

      Henri - 2012-05-16 16:05

      how dare you say Juju didnt flunk woodwork ? H is for higher than a sptisfire :)

  • Andile - 2012-05-16 16:04

    My 1 Cent's worth, COSATU is NOT a political party. They have nothing to loose in this case, now the DA is going to use their energy trying to fight this, and surely that won't paint a positive picture about them. Since COSATU will lay counter charges it simply means this can even take 2 years to complete and along with it draging the DA's name on the mud. But goodluck to Mmaimane, if I may ask why didn't Hellen Zille lay the charges herself??? She damn well knows its a losing battle, and hence let's use 1 of 'them'

      WhiteTsotsi - 2012-05-16 16:10

      I totally agree. Well said. This is my point exactly, Stop the politics and get around the table and start discussing issues that affect the youth in a civil way.

      Christelle - 2012-05-16 16:24

      I don't understand what this has to do with Cosatu being a non-political entity. The march was about the fact that Cosatu is dragging their heels on having government funds released which could assist youth in employment. Is the whole issue in SA not based on the fact of non-employment??

      Nigel - 2012-05-16 16:32

      I don't expect you would understand this, but it's a matter of principle. Sometimes you just don't let things be, and you have to stand up and do something, particularly when violence is involved, and yes, even if you know it will go nowhere because of our retarded justice system. Some things are not acceptable and the civilised amongst us do not accept Cosatu's barbaric behaviour.

  • yvette.meyer2 - 2012-05-16 16:09

    wonder who will be paying for this mmmmm tax payers???? does it matter who is right or wrong - can we just grow up and act like a civilized society? The courts have so much on their plates they battling to get cases done on a day to day bases without having to deal with a pissing competition from both these irresponsible groups of people!

      eil33nn - 2012-05-16 16:15

      Nope, the DA is not the governing party and thus this shal be paid out of the contributions they received...

  • Tshepo - 2012-05-16 16:11

    please mam don't let them get away with those bastards

  • eil33nn - 2012-05-16 16:12


  • malusi - 2012-05-16 16:18

    Come 2014 elections the DA will still get 20%. The ANC will most probably get the 2/3 majority since COPE's 15% will move back to the ANC. The DA just doesnt get SA politics or maybe they dont want to get SA politics. The country is screaming for a proper opposition and the DA is not it. When will they get it? I wonder.

      Peter - 2012-05-16 17:00

      I think you are extremely miss guided, and their is no supporting evidence.

  • Erna - 2012-05-16 16:22

    What is it with these Cosatu supporters and 'Cosatu space'? Since when do the streets belong to them? The DA didn't enter Cosatu House.

  • George - 2012-05-16 16:23

    This demonstration made me think twice about Cosatu and the DA. Cosatu is intolerant of other organisations. SA is held at ransom by Cosatu. DA is divided into two parts, namely, the black members whose job is to toy toy. The white members who sits at board meetings and decide DA policies. I have never in my entire life seen both black and white members in the same gathering. They are always in separate events. Why were white people not in that demonstration? I am worried. Mara why?

      mosale.magwele - 2012-05-16 16:28

      I asked myself the same question? Where were the unemployed white people or is it only blacks that are unemployed!

      WhiteTsotsi - 2012-05-16 16:34

      There were some white people on the footage I saw. But the majority were black. Cheap politics from the DA trying to get black foot soldiers to make some political statement.

      rory.eliot - 2012-05-16 16:46

      There were some whites in the march, but I hear you. Although I think there is a place for all members. If one is a lawyer and can offer legal advice while another is unemployed and eager to be heard, then what is the problem. Unity and using your resources is a smart way to go about doing things.

      Peter - 2012-05-16 17:01

      @WhiteTsotsi - Why cant black people be affiliated with the DA?

      Peter - 2012-05-16 17:34

      Why is this such an issue and so difficult to grasp? The DA is not a white only party. White people make up 9% of the population of 50 MILLION SA Citizens. Why is it so hard to understand that there are more black people than white people?

      George - 2012-05-16 19:04

      @Peter, it's ok. You don't need to justify this one. Im not blaming you. It's the system. Are you saying black membership and support in the DA exceed that of white people? I'll think you're nuts if your answer is yes. it makes mathematical sense for whites to outnumber blacks in any gathering commissioned by the DA. Period! Don't come with that childish theory.

      John - 2012-05-17 20:56

      I didn't see any white faces on the red side so I take it that its the black members job in cosato to toy toy and be cannon fodder

  • Bob - 2012-05-16 16:27

    Do you really, honestly believe in your heart that Cosatu want to discuss this matter and really want to sort this matter out for the good of the youth, the unemployed and the country as a whole, and even if it goes against them, they want the best for the people of this country..??? Or do you think that they are concerned about their union fees and where they see themselves in the political scene..?? I very much doubt that they give a rats rectum about the unemployed folk in South Africa..I really don’t...

      WhiteTsotsi - 2012-05-16 16:33

      Yes - I honestly believe so. I think we are rushing a longterm solution. This is my honest view. Shoot me for it!

      Peter - 2012-05-16 17:04

      @WhiteTsotsi - So you want to wait another 3 years, since the policy was first mentioned back in 2009

  • Gerrit - 2012-05-16 16:36

    What a waste of time.No one in government or the NPA has the balls to investigate Cosatu and they know it.

  • rickvcooper - 2012-05-16 16:52

    It goes to show - you can't reason with people who don't have an IQ, and who are only employable by government, simply because goverment does not have to deliver. They only have to hold onto the guns and bullets.

  • David - 2012-05-16 17:02

    Cosatu's ideology is soundly based in Marxism hence the total lack of respect for anything not within the confines of their so called 'democracy'. The net result of this Marxist outlook worldwide is the breeding of uncontrollable hooligans, bordering on gangsterism, and endless chaos.

  • Carol - 2012-05-16 17:24

    I fully support the DA but nothing will become of this, we all know that, after all this is Africa, and these hooligans do whatever they like. Anyway, why were they not at work, instead of throwing stones Oops, stupid question!

      Dean - 2012-05-16 21:52

      This is after all africa, dark africa, they are hooligans, stone throwers, stupid, they are communist, Marxist, backward, intolerant, evil, barbaric, undemocratic, they will never come right, they know only violence, they corrupt, they uncivilized. Words consistently used by DA supporters over the passed 2 day to describing those Cosatu members/supporters. Know I found it \very hard\ to understand who they referring to blacks or whites or are they just saying this to all and everyone that do and think different to them and are Cosatu supporters. But I leave that to your imagination. What bug me however is these words are very similar/familiar words that was used to describe black oppressed masses of SA that opposed the white, illegitimate, imperialist Apartheid govt. Judge therefore for yourself who are these none africa, none communist, none uncivilized, higher moral, none dark Africa people. Are they not perhaps a remnant of those that enslaved us then, who know yet again seek to devalue our worth and Dignity. While they parade themselves around in new colors. My dear friends we shall oppose you and all such thinking with everything in us. Don't under estimate our capacity to beware of your disguises. From a ( not so dark backward African) very proud and Free African south of the sahara in the Land of Azania. And let me remind you of such \superior\. Misguided ideas what our TaTa Madiba told us, to always be on our guard and watch over our hard earned freedom and never lower our guard. No surrender no Retreat Never! Phambile

  • Kate - 2012-05-16 17:28

    In 2011 alone there were 46600 reported cases of assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm in Gauteng! To view more crime statistics in your area visit

  • Mike - 2012-05-16 19:20

    Democracy HA HA HA. Majority rule yes. Wake up. South Africa. If we do not address this situation now "banana republic" here we come

  • Vhulie Emmanuel Manv - 2012-05-16 20:00

    Whats up with this thing of calling africans. yes i mean black people,\uneducated,stupid,low iq and all sorts of things,but you want our vote still.that not cool.i think our white people should stop to pretend or behave like apartheid never happened because it deal with it.but seriously lets try to stop insulting each other,this country belongs to all of us.

  • Willem - 2012-05-16 20:30

    it just shows the world once again that cosatu are a violent organisation weather it is a stike or a march or anything to do with them some one will always get hurt by these animals and then they will use racisim as there excuse for there actions bottom line is cosatu must get banned because they are gona destroy our county

  • Fana - 2012-05-16 21:51

    I don't support anyone in this mess,but all I can say this was an insult to Nelson Mandela and the the democratic values of our constitutional country.We have become a laughing stock to the outside World.Why cant we leave in piece and harmony.The DA is using poor black people and Cosatu is also using poor unemployed masses of our population to ward off DA initiatives.Zille wants to score cheap political goals at the expense of Black people. The playing field is not level. DA and Cosatu are using poor black people to attain their objectives.

  • Chelsea-jade - 2012-05-17 15:07

    DA ALL THE WAY! What I have to say is that ANC/COSATU are living in the past! They keep bringing apartheid into everything whether anyone wants to admit it or not. Apartheid is over and has been for a long time, why cant the ANC/COSATU get over it?? The people of today were never apart of apartheid, so why blame them? Dont punish the wrong people for things of the past! ANC/COSATU, You are the ones bringing apartheid back! Not the DA!

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