A number of ANC supporters were arrested after they clashed with Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members near President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home on Saturday.
The EFF were handing over a house they had built, next to Zuma’s homestead, to a woman and her grandchildren. A large group of police officers monitored the situation since Saturday morning and kept the two groups separate.
The ANC supporters were on a hill nearby when EFF members emerged from their meeting and began singing. Some of the ANC group then began throwing stones at the opposing party’s members and police intervened using truncheons, a water cannon and tear gas. Rubber bullets were fired and people ran and dived for cover. A number of ANC supporters were then arrested and loaded into the back of a public order policing van. One stuck his middle finger out of the van before it drove off. Captain Thulani Zwane said 30 people were arrested and would appear in the Nkandla Magistrate’s Court on Monday to face charges of public violence.
ANC members earlier blocked the road leading to the house, built by EFF members for Sthandiwe Hlongwane and her grandchildren and prevented EFF leader Julius Malema’s car from driving past. Malema then got out of the car and walked through the crowd to get to the house. After he made it through, ANC supporters began throwing bottles of water and stones.
Malema was visiting the area to mark the EFF’s handing over of the house, which stands about 300m from Zuma’s home. The party also provided furniture for the house. Malema said that attempts to stop him visiting Hlongwane’s house were unconstitutional.
“I am not [Democratic Alliance leader] Helen Zille, I cannot be blocked,” he said.
Zuma’s son Edward was among the ANC supporters who turned out, but was not one of those arrested.
“Not even [Edward’s] father succeeded in stopping me,” Malema pointed out. – Sapa