The Democratic Alliance has taken note of the statements by COSATU and several of its affiliate unions regarding our planned jobs march to COSATU House tomorrow morning. We have also noted their implicit threats of violence, their "declaration" of "open political warfare", and their promise to mobilise their members to meet us at COSATU House.
The DA's is marching to COSATU House in solidarity with all unemployed South Africans, and in particular on behalf of unemployed youth, whose chances of finding work are being blocked by COSATU.
Our march is about jobs, and it will highlight the role that COSATU plays in keeping people unemployed in South Africa. By opposing the Youth Wage Subsidy and blocking its progress in Nedlac, COSATU is actively preventing more than four hundred thousand young South Africans from getting a job.
The statements by COSATU and its affiliates are blustering threats and attempts to draw attention away from their indefensible opposition to the Youth Wage Subsidy and their own hypocrisy.
We are not distracted or intimidated by their provocations - if anything it only strengthens our resolve to stand up for the right of all South Africans to access the economy, find work, and build a better life.
It is unacceptable in a constitutional democracy for union leaders to threaten those who challenge them on the basis of their policies and their actions. COSATU's leaders should retract these statements today and advise their members that any provocation tomorrow will not be accepted.
Furthermore, the DA applied to the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) for permission to march long in advance, and have met all of the criteria for a peaceful and lawful gathering.
Neither COSATU nor any of its affiliates have applied to the JMPD for permission to gather or march, which means any other gathering at COSATU House tomorrow will be illegal.
Helen Zille, Leader of the Democratic Alliance