Jesus Christ would be leading e-toll protest: Cosatu

22 May 2013 - 15:43 By Sapa
E-tolls. File photo
E-tolls. File photo

Cosatu will be joined by at least 10 civil society bodies and some religious leaders in a series of protests in the next few weeks against the e-tolling of Gauteng highways.

The SA Council of Churches and the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC) would lend their active support, Congress of SA Trade Unions' (Cosatu) Gauteng secretary Dumisani Dakile told reporters in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

"We will be embarking upon a series of protests and demonstrations... to highlight to the state and to government that this system is unacceptable."

He said Cosatu and its partners would embark on a go-slow drive, and a march to bring the province's highways to a standstill.

The first protest would be in Johannesburg on May 24 and the second in Ekurhuleni on May 31, with a final provincial "stay-away" and march on June 10.

Cosatu would also be joined by the Congress of SA Students; the SA Students Congress; the SA National Civic Organisation; the United Association of Taxis Forum; the Treatment Action Campaign; the National Association of National School Governing Bodies; the National Taxi Forum; and Bikers Against E-tolls.

Dakile said prayer services would be held across the province in the coming weeks.

"The church is quite clear, and it is our view that even if Jesus Christ was alive today, he would be leading this protest [against e-tolls]," he said.

Father Michael Deeb, of the SACBC, agreed with Dakile.

"If we look at what my comrade here said, what Jesus did in his own life was that he did not accept any injustice and any forms of exploitation that was taking place," he said.

Shaun Pfister, from Bikers Against E-tolls, said it did not want e-tolls in any province.

"With the planning, the manipulation and the way it has been implemented, the public on the whole has not been consulted."

He apologised to motorists who would be inconvenienced by the protests.

"We are not doing this for bikers. We are doing it for everyone who uses our national roads," he said.

Pfister and other members of his organisation wore badges on their leather jackets reading: "e-toll can suck my toll-e [tollie is slang for penis]".

Another wore a swastika, and one the SS insignia, used by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's personal guards, the Schutzstaffel.