Johannesburg - Alexandra township was on a knife edge on Friday night as police and protesters clashed.

Tyres were burnt and stones were thrown at police at the corner of sixth Avenue and Alfred Nzo Street. This is near the Madala hostel and Nobuhle - an IFP strong hold.

Anxious residents and children stood on the sidelines unable to get to their homes. A huge contingent of armed police and JMPD officers stood armed with rubber bullets and stun grenades ready to quell the situation while a helicopter hovered above.

Gauteng MPL and resident Sizakele Molobani said a group of people had gone to the Alex Magistrate Court in support of those who had been arrested on Thursday after they allegedly burnt tyres and clashed with the police near second Avenue.

Trouble in the township began when ANC and IEC officials were held hostage after being accused of tampering with ballot papers. Allegations of vote rigging surfaced after EFF members claimed they saw ballot papers being transported in an ANC vehicle.

It is also understood that IFP members are disgruntled after their party lost all the wards to the ANC.

Provincial policeman spokesman Neville Malila said the protesters thought the group of 32 people that had been arrested would appear in court. But they did not. They wanted them to be released.

He said the situation was under control as more police had been deployed to the area.

Saturday Star