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DA marches on Jozi – clashes with Cosatu

17/05/2012
DA marches on Jozi by S:P:S
DA marches on Jozi, a photo by S:P:S on Flickr.

I attended the attempted DA march to Cosatu House in Braamfontein on Tuesday 15 May as a journalist.

From my experiences there and my communication with attendees, it became apparent that despite the wage subsidy for the youth being on the agenda, the DA had merely chosen the issue to march on.

I don’t believe they were there for the wage subsidy issue. They are campaigning. They have come to Johannesburg, they have come to Gauteng, they have started; 2014 is their goal.

The reality is that Cosatu doesn’t want more DA power here. The tripartite alliance seems to be somewhat wary of the growing influence of the DA, even if they are still confident of their support in the province. But if the DA gets more power, it will disturb Cosatu’s relationship with the ANC.

Cosatu are fighting for their very existence. Some would say it is a deep white and black thing.

The violence I experienced on that day was hardly about the wage subsidy issue. The Cosatu supporters on the street were there for more fundamental issues. Fear of the white onslaught. They want to keep the white oppressors back. Given the history of this country I wouldn’t say that fear is completely unjustified. Participators see it as a physical battle, one against enemies. Democracy be damned, this is a class war. The DA is seen as the middle class, the money makers, the controllers – not the community.

So, the fight began.

I am not political analyst nor am I aspiring to be one but the observation, outside of merely reporting on the event, hinted at something much deeper, much more fundamental to the operations of South African society. The DA has started their campaign for control of Gauteng, and they are not welcome. Democracy isn’t a factor when you are fighting for survival.

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