Rocks, cement pieces send marchers scattering

2012-05-15 18:00

Johannesburg - Rocks and pieces of cement flew when supporters of the DA and Cosatu came head to head at a protest in Johannesburg city centre on Tuesday.

Police used teargas and water cannons to disperse Congress of SA Trade Union members who stopped the Democratic Alliance from protesting outside its headquarters.

The DA were insisting Cosatu stop stonewalling a government youth wage subsidy that, it says, will create thousands of new jobs for young people.

The DA march, headed by leader Helen Zille, youth leader Makashule Gana, parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko and national spokesperson Mmusi Maimane, began peacefully.

However, as 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 chased DA supporters and police had their hands full trying to control groups intent on hounding the blue-shirted protesters out the area.

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

Several car windows were smashed and at least two people were injured by flying bricks and rocks.

Zille delivered her speech in Xhosa and English, saying that the DA was marching in solidarity with unemployed South Africans. Cosatu was keeping people out of work and locked out of the economy.

"We all want to live lives that contribute to society. We all want to support ourselves and our families. We all want to ensure that our children have more opportunities than we did," she said.

Giving more South Africans the chance to work was essential ingredient for the nation to prosper and heal the wounds of the past, she said.


Zille said the DA had proposed the wage subsidy programme for young people as a practical and realistic way to include the youth in the economy and create jobs.

The subsidy could create 400 000 first time job opportunities for young South Africans.

"We believed in it, and we were thrilled when many others did too. Many economists, academics, analysts and even many in the ANC government, including the president, have supported it," she added. The only impediment was Cosatu, which was using its power to block the subsidy's implementation.

A few blocks away at Cosatu House, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi told a crowd that a youth wage subsidy would use workers' tax money to enrich company bosses and had to be opposed.

"What will happen is when workers get old? Bosses will throw them into the street and replace them with 18-year-olds receiving a subsidy," Vavi said.

Cosatu has said before it was concerned the subsidy would be used by employers to cut costs, by doing away with established jobs in favour of cheaper youngsters, who were eligible for a subsidy.

Vavi added that youth receiving the subsidy would not receive a full wage, which went against Cosatu's principles.

"We demand equal pay for work of equal value," he said.

In a statement, the DA's Kate Lorimer said there were not enough police and metro police officers present at the protest.

"It seems though as if the cops were unprepared and it was only after the stone throwing that the police finally sent in a police vehicle to block the Cosatu attack."

  • Sonja - 2012-05-15 18:08

    Dear Helen Zille and the DA.... If they are going to throw rocks and cement, tell the youth to get lost.

      Peter - 2012-05-15 18:17

      To give up on them is to accept defeat. I think thats why even though there was without a shadow of a doubt that, there was going to be conflict that they marched regardless. It shows who the better people are. They act like barbarians throwing rocks at that which they cant or dont want to comprehend. I think its import that the events turned out the way they did. Now not only South Africans but the world can see what the rainbow nations "democracy" is all about. It may not be a victory for youth subsidies but it is a victory for the DA being able to help everyone see what the Cosatu members are really about and how greedy they really are

      Jack - 2012-05-15 18:23

      Oh my goodness, why do we get stuck with the dumbest people on planet earth!!! WHY O WHY, are they so f;ing STUPID!!

      Omo - 2012-05-15 18:24

      I am really sad about what happened today,it is really a disgrace not only to South Africans but to Africans in general.I will like to appeal to my fellow Africans to please desist from behaving in such a barbaric manner.We should learn to be civil when we march or protest.The stone throwing was totally unnecessary.What was Cosatu members doing there in the first place?????? The march was planned by DA and Cosatu confronting DA is just wrong,it makes Cosatu members look like uncivilized bullies

      Sean - 2012-05-15 18:27

      Why are the Cosatu and ANC IMBECILES allowed to march , but when the DA marches , a big fuss is made ?? So f@cken typical Africa !! Cosatu are just as criminal as the ANC !!

      Jack - 2012-05-15 18:27

      Well Mark, i suppose Sonja has a point. Why try help, when it's obviously not appreciated. You can compare this dead with the classic example which so often happens when an ambulance tries to assist the injured and the locals refuse them access, even stab the medic for their cigarettes. That’s the mentality we’re dealing with> IE savages,

      Sheda - 2012-05-15 18:41

      This whole pre-paid parking system is racist (or tribal as Zuma likes to call it) What about Jeppe Street, Bree Street, Suid Street. What about Watt Ave or 1st Street in Alexander. These are the most congested streets in JHB. Businesses suffer because of congestion. Tugwana said "parking meters provide constant flow""motorists hoard parking spots". Nobody hoards parking spots like trhe taxis. Once again the taxis can do what they want and, in this case, the "white" areas are the ones to be abused. Until our "Democracy" treats everyone equally I will passionately (and even violently if necessary) stand against this racism. Are you listening VAVI ????

      Jason - 2012-05-15 18:44

      What I cant understand is that the DA had permission to march and COSATU did not! So how could the police let COSATU gather illegally and not do anything about it!! This story is far from over, the police are going to have to answer some questions and the COSATU leadership, who openly stated they would not allow the DA to hand over the memorandum, need to be charged for inciting violence!

      Smilification - 2012-05-15 18:45

      Actually ! Sonja is not racist! She is also a DA supporter... I just think she made a typo ;) VIVA DA!

      Tamaranui - 2012-05-15 19:47

      We are a young Childish Democracy , It takes time to learn how to live another way. Many do, these extremist are less than 5% of RSA population. We unfortunately had a late start. This is the way we use to do things through Rage. I an unsure as to whom started the Ruckus however placing the Gunpowder next to the fire is surely going to increase the chance of an explosion. The DA should be a better party and behave in a responsible manner. Waving a flag to get a Bull's attention is surely not decent politicking. This made the entire country look bad. I would like to see the Police arrest and charge more offenders responsible for this.

      alansmartSnr - 2012-05-15 20:29

      Hi Sonja.. I am sure that you dont realy understand what this "youth subsidy" is all about. I can hardly beleive that an intelligent lady like yourself would log the comment you did if you realy knew how important and to what extent the action of the subsidy would erradicate unemployment and address poverty. 400,000 jobs, even at a lower wage would have a tremendous positive outcome on both the population as well as saving the government millions in social grants. Think again dear girl and aquaint yourself what this is all about... have a nice day!

      Peter - 2012-05-16 08:02

      @Tamaranui - No the DA did nothing wrong, Cosatu made the country look bad. Your bias is obvious to all troll

  • dave.prinsloo - 2012-05-15 18:08

    I won't even start. But I wish cosatu would stop.

      Sheda - 2012-05-15 18:35

      And ZUMA has what? to say about all this?? He is such a useless leader. We need a Russian, British, Chinese leader with Thatcher

  • Dewald Van Niekerk - 2012-05-15 18:11


      Atholl - 2012-05-15 18:39

      Spiteful (by Cosatu) for the unemployed. What happens If/When the Solution (Subsidy) Succeeds ? Then Cosatu have a new enemy that never existed - the unemployed youth.

  • jc.smit - 2012-05-15 18:13

    Seems like Cosatu thinks they have copyright on marching...

      Nozo - 2012-05-15 19:05

      I certainly love this comment. Good one JC

  • Hudayfah - 2012-05-15 18:16

    If cosatu as a private entity, why are they allowed to have a say? Is Zuma afraid he may lose the support of cosatu? If that is the case then shame on him for being selfish. Worried more about himself than the youth.

      Peter - 2012-05-15 18:19

      I think that is exactly why the government has not said a word on the situation. They are stuck between a rock and a hard place

      Sean - 2012-05-15 18:29

      Yip and Vavi is taking full advantage , what a bunch of crooks !

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-05-15 20:03

      Don't you mean a rock and a piece of pavement?

  • George - 2012-05-15 18:17

    Unless these cANCerous members of our society learn to behave democratically we will soon see hot lead flying about not just rocks; Syria here we come.....

  • nspaynter - 2012-05-15 18:24

    In South Africa only COSATU and the ANC are allowed to march. Nobody else. That is a FACT.

  • keith.recore - 2012-05-15 18:26

    Sad to see, does it really matter who proposes what? 1 million or more youth are unemployed. Perhaps this scene/sight will bring more people to the table and just get something started to get more of those unemployed, working. Perhaps tie it into to training, new skills and so on. What an example this is from adults. Perhaps bring the youth to the discussion, maybe some of them would be more adult in coming up with a plan, after all it is their life you are screwing up. Get them into positions, give them something concrete to do (not throw) and my guess is the country would be amazed and a better place with what the youth can create and contribute, given the chance.

  • Hudayfah - 2012-05-15 18:30

    P.S News 24 is really bleeding this issue dry. A few of these threads could have written as one

  • Carlito - 2012-05-15 18:33

    What's long and black?\r\nThe unemployment line

      Zenzile Tshanda - 2012-05-15 19:59

      @carlito- true

  • Rika-Gareth Harvey - 2012-05-15 18:37

    When a legal march takes place then its an issue and all the others decide to be selfish and interfere: keep your nose out of other peoples affairs. Shows the way this country is going when 2 groups going for the same thing use violence against each other. Barbarians in total

  • Fairness - 2012-05-15 18:38

    This pathetic. I am starting to think that there are people out there who want to be treated like rubish, sleep on streets, beg for food and encourage violence. It's like complaining about the education system and then setting fire to schools and libraries. What is this place comming too? People of authority are abusing people period. Again I say this pathetic.

  • Ad - 2012-05-15 18:43

    And this is how the ANC think they can convince anybody to Vote for them? After this i wonder who can realy say he/she is proud to be an ANC supporter?

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-05-15 20:05

      Attacking opposition with force... reminds me of apartheid.

  • Julio - 2012-05-15 18:44

    Welcome to democracy African style. The state/Anc and its allies, i.e. Cosatu, Sacp, etc. are only democratic as long as they're in charge. When someone challenges them with facts and sound policies to which they have no answer, they resort to violence. Where are the enlightenend and free thinking Africans within these structures?

  • sandy.langenstrass - 2012-05-15 18:49

    I wonder who threw the first stone?....Remember I said I was worried about this's not something the DA are accustomed to.....if anything they learnt......don't march again....leave it to the people that are born and breed (culturally)to behave unruly....this is not a compliment.DA use your brain and voice like you always's more educated and intelligent.

      Sematla - 2012-05-15 19:02

      F-off, you were born and breed culturally to be stupid. Who threw the first stone? today you do not know? The first BRICK was thrown yesterday when the DA said, siyaya phanbili despite the warning that what they were intending to do was not legal. Now that was the first brick talking about throwing stones.

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-05-15 20:11

      Firstly, she said bred to behave unruly, not to be stupid. Secondly, as far as I can read DA followed the prescribed(legal) road exactly. COSATU attacked a legal protest. They should, in a healthy democracy be sued, but we all know that will not be successful.

      alansmartSnr - 2012-05-15 20:43

      Ja, quite right and reluctantly I have to agree with you but then there is the old saying "Fight fire with fire". I think it was a strategicaly very good thing if only that it may have raised the issue with a few of the youth, to show how much the DA are concerned about upliftment of the proletariat. Even if they only got 10 conversions - the word will spread.

  • mark.jackson.33821 - 2012-05-15 18:55

    Where did all the rocks and cement pieces come from in the middle of JHB?

      Arnold - 2012-05-15 19:18

      the way our infrastructure is disintegrating,theres tons of the stuff lying around.

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-05-15 20:12

      Knowing COSATU members, they were probably handed rocks on their bus to COSATU-HQ.

      Pravin - 2012-05-16 17:23

      Lol... Mark, I was thinking the very same thing.

  • Ro - 2012-05-15 20:16

    Vavi you are a horses ass

      Polotic - 2012-05-15 20:42

      And so is Patrick Craven. Defending the indefensible.

  • Julian - 2012-05-15 20:45

    It's called a leash-they should be given away...

  • Raymond - 2012-05-15 21:21

    While the Whole World watches in horror, this never ending barbaric behaviour has become a norm in this deteriorating country.It's only a matter of time before we go the Zim way.

  • ncmpangase - 2012-05-15 21:41

    As long as Most of young black South Africans still lives with thier grandfathers and still have aparthied tape or clips like me, we will never have peace in this country, kus i still cry when i watch aparthied vidoes or even when i listen to ma grandfather stories, so most black ppl hates Zillie for that reason

      Warwick Bristow - 2012-05-16 06:01

      How can you blame Zille for apartheid, she committed her life to fighting apartheid. We all need to work together and stop making gross assumptions.

      sandy.langenstrass - 2012-05-16 07:48

      STOP living in the past, ncmpangase.....most South Africans in their prime years had nothing to do with the Apartheid years, So don't blame the young white folks of today....move on to the future .....or unless we change this outlook....this country is heading for CIVIL WAR...the horrors of which I'm sure none of us would like to experience.Our country could be broken down to mere rubble...not only in buildings but our souls too.....and the rebuilding would never happen because it takes such large amounts of money...look at the war strife countries in Africa....and to ALL that read this....IS THIS WHAT WE WANT FOR OUR BEAUTIFUL LAND AND OUR CHILDREN?

  • Vernon - 2012-05-15 21:49

    arab spring!! da will put some greece to make them slip up eventually!!

  • tobydt - 2012-05-15 21:53

    "We demand equal pay for work of equal value" Vavi, thanks to your bullsh1t, you have no work for no value. How dumb are you motherf***ers.

  • khanyi.mpungose.5 - 2012-05-15 22:27


      Peter - 2012-05-16 08:03

      Are you just racist or retarded?

      sandy.langenstrass - 2012-05-16 11:31

      Reason why it seems that there are not that many whites in the march yesterday...."you surely know the answer".....let me tell you many black people live in SA? 45 MILLION. How many white people live in SA? 5 million. If you can work out the maths, I think you'll find the answer to your question.The black folks that where in the march are the folks that know where they need to be to get things right in this land....if you haven't come to that understanding yet....bad luck for you.

  • khanyi.mpungose.5 - 2012-05-15 22:31

    black DA,, this was strange,, all these DA menbers were just black,, where are whites,, now black people are marching on behalf of white people,, Black Africans wake up,, dont u see wht the DA is doing to us,, they want us as Africans to fight each other,,

      tobydt - 2012-05-15 23:47

      Strange though, that you were the one throwing stones at your fellow African then, dont you think?

      sandy.langenstrass - 2012-05-16 11:36

      Very well said...Sinudeity.......these folk don't think before they type.

  • manluckysm - 2012-05-16 05:30

    Cosatu are old madala's who are selfish

  • manluckysm - 2012-05-16 05:30

    Cosatu are old madala's who are selfish

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