South Africa

South Africa

#CosatuStrike in Photos: Sea of red sends message on State Capture and corruption

#CosatuStrike in Photos: Sea of red sends message on State Capture and corruption
Protesters in Johannesburg were unanimous in their call for President Jacob Zuma to stand down with chants of Zuma must fall frequently heard throughout the day. Photo: IHSAAN HAFFEJEE

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in 13 cities on Wednesday under the banners of Cosatu and the SACP to march against state capture and corruption. IHSAAN HAFFEJEE photographed the action in Johannesburg while AYANDA CHARLIE for Daily Maverick Chronicle was behind the lens in Cape Town. GROUNDUP was in East London, Port Elizabeth and Durban.

In Johannesburg, by midday around 5,000 members of Cosatu had gathered for the strike against state capture. Marchers said they were tired of President Jacob Zuma and corruption. The strike got off to a slow start outside Cosatu House but as the numbers swelled the march proceeded to the City of Johannesburg municipal offices. Memorandums on corruption and state capture were also handed over to the Gauteng Premier’s office and the Chamber of Mines.

Photo: A protester with a hat that reads “Not captured” joined thousands of other Cosatu members as they made their way to various points in the Johannesburg CBD to protest against state capture and corruption.

Photo: General Secretary of the SACP Blade Nzimade is seen with Gauteng Premier David Makhura as the protest against state capture and corruption reached the office of the premier in the Johannesburg CBD. The premier accepted the memorandum delivered by the protest leaders and indicated that he will escalate the grievances to President Jacob Zuma.

Photo: A protester wearing a gold mask joins his colleagues at the starting point of the march which was at Cosatu headquarters in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

Photo: Protesters make their way towards the office of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba. ‘Those who are messing up our city are here now. If Mashaba doesn’t respond, we are back here,’ a Cosatu member said.

Photo: A supporter of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa can be seen with a picture of Ramaphosa stuck to the top of his hat as protesters made their way to the Chamber of Mines in the Johannesburg city centre. Some of the slogans blasted from one of the Cosatu trucks included: ‘Leave Guptas’, ‘Down with Zuma’ and ‘Down with corruption’, ‘We are ready for Ramaphosa. On your marks, get ready, we are ready for Ramaphosa’.

In Cape Town, a crowd which struggled to reach 1,000 made their way in a heavily policed march to three destinations: Metrorail’s provincial offices, the Western Cape legislature and Parliament.

Photo: With Cape Town marchers gathered outside the Western Cape Provincial Legislature to hand over a memorandum of demands, some took the chance to deliver a slightly different message. ‘We Are The Rainbow’, declared a colourful flag carried by one passionate protester.

Photo: Placards with Cosatu branding carried by marchers in Cape Town stated their opposition to state capture and demanded the establishment of a judicial commission of inquiry.

Photo: Outside Parliament, SACP deputy secretary general Jeremy Cronin railed against the loss of state funds due to corruption and called for swift consequences for those involved in state capture.

Meanwhile, GroundUp reports that Minister of Sport and Recreation Thulas Nxesi, addressing protesters in Port Elizabeth, urged labour organisations to know “who is managing your retirement funds”. This was a reference to the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which is responsible for the pensions of civil servants.

A key concern of workers is that corrupt people in government intend to find ways to raid the PIC, instead of investing its funds wisely. “You should know who decides your pension investments because the only investment a worker has is his retirement fund. The looting of workers’ resources is taking away our lives,” said Nxesi.

Billions of rands are needed to bail out the South African Airways. SAA is in crisis. It has been financially mismanaged. Looting of Eskom has pushed up the price of electricity. We grew up knowing that Eskom, Prasa and other state-owned companies were good employers, but now thousands of innocent workers are threatened with losing their jobs,” Nxesi said. “All these companies are the footprint of the Gupta corruption. Some officials have forgotten why they are in office. We say to the Hawks: do your job. Look for the people who are doing the wrong things and arrest them.”

Photo: Cosatu supporters march along Strand Street on their way to Vuyisile Mini Square in Port Elizabeth. Photo: Joseph Chirume for GroundUp.

Photo: More than 300 people marched in East London from North End Stadium to the City Hall. Photo: Thembela Ntongana for GroundUp.

In Durban thousands marched from King Dinuzulu Park.

Photo: Many of the placards raised demands to sack labour brokers, comparing labour broking to human trafficking and slavery. Placards also called for decent jobs and the prosecution of those involved in state capture. Photo: Nomfundo Xolo for GroundUp.

The crowd in Durban gained momentum as more and more people arrived in buses with placards and banners. DM

Main photo: Protesters in Johannesburg were unanimous in their call for President Jacob Zuma to stand down with chants of ‘Zuma must fall’ frequently heard throughout the day. Photo: IHSAAN HAFFEJEE

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