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DA lays charges against Cosatu

The DA has laid charges against Cosatu following Tuesday's violent clashes.

DA lays charges against Cosatu at the Hillbrow Police Station on 15 May 2012. Picture: Andrea van Wyk/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Wednesday laid charges against the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) at Hillbrow Police Station following Tuesday's violent march.

DA Youth leader Makashule Gana laid intimidation, illegal gathering and incitement of violence charges against the federation.

The league's chairperson Mbali Ntuli said they were shocked at Cosatu's behaviour.

Ntuli also criticised police for being unprepared to deal with the situation, saying at least eight members were hurt.

Meanwhile, Cosatu said it could lay charges against the DA after two of its members were injured.

They were allegedly hurt when opposition demonstrators retaliated.

On Tuesday, both sides blamed each other for the violence.

Opposition demonstrators were marching to Cosatu House in the Johannesburg city centre to hand over a memorandum of demands in support of the Youth Wage Subsidy.

Shortly before noon, violence erupted and the protest was abandoned.

The DA believes the subsidy will create work for over 400,000 unemployed youths, but Cosatu is opposed to the scheme.

The union believes companies could retrench older workers because employers will receive large amounts of money for hiring young people.

In response to the violence, Cosatu Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi said the DA came prepared for a fight.

The DA still plans to hand-over a memorandum to the trade union federation, in support of the subsidy.