The Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) are playing the blame game following Tuesday’s violent clashes.
Three DA protesters and a journalist were injured when demonstrators hurled rocks and cans at each other in the Johannesburg CBD.
The opposition party was marching to Cosatu House to hand over a memorandum of demands supporting the Youth Wage Subsidy, but the protest was eventually abandoned.
The DA believes the subsidy will create work for over 400, 000 unemployed youths, but Cosatu is opposed to the scheme.
The federation believes companies could retrench older workers because employers will receive large amounts of money for hiring young people.
As protesters made their way to the Cosatu headquarters, violent erupted.
Cosatu Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi said the DA came prepared for a fight.
“Our members said they went to receive the memorandum. There were a lot of DA members who had stones in their truck.”
He claims they threw rocks at Cosatu members.
“We don’t condone violence, irrespective of who started it.”
According to DA officials, the protest was peaceful until federation-affiliated members intervened.
Several DA protesters allegedly picked up the rocks and hurled them back at Cosatu members.
Party leaders then urged the demonstrators to remain peaceful.