Vavi: Government leaders have forgotten their roots

Some government leaders have forgotten their roots, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi told hordes of protesters in Johannesburg.

“Today we are here to remind some fellows where they are coming from. They don’t know anymore the power of the working class,” Vavi said outside the department of labour offices.

“This is not a march. This is an occupation of the City of Johannesburg by the workers.”

Earlier, embattled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, whose arrival stirred the crowds to cheers of “Juju”, said the march was not an ANC event but to hold leaders ransom to their promises.

“Cosatu is leading the one leading the march. I see 150,000 people. The ANC must listen to the masses,” he said.

After Vavi and Malema’s addresses, the crowd continued on to the office of the premier directly past Albert Luthuli House which had been cordoned off with barbed wire.

Earlier, Gauteng’s ANCYL provincial secretary Ayanda Kasa-Ntsobi said Cosatu was correct on the issues of young people.

“The ANCYL, especially in Gauteng, has pronounced on labour brokers and e-tolling.”

The youth wanted affordable and integrated transport, she said.

The league was also confused that the ANC — which decried the practice of labour brokers at the 2007 Polokwane conference — was now changing its view.

“It surprises us now that they are saying regulate labour brokers.”

SA Student Council chairman Ndumiso Mokako said labour brokers should be banned as they preyed on graduates.

E-tolling was also an unnecessary expense.

“Our parents are barely surviving. The working class can’t afford to pay for government’s mistake,” said Mokako.