ANC members arrested in Nkandla

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Copy of iol pi nkandla anc members SAPA EFF members, wearing the party's distinctive red berets, put final touches to the roof of a home built for a woman and her grandchildren, while ANC supporters demonstrate in the foreground. Picture: Giordano Stolley/SAPA

Nkandla - A number of ANC supporters were arrested after they clashed with EFF members near President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home on Saturday.

The Economic Freedom Fighters were handing over a house they had built, next to Zuma's homestead, to a woman and her grandchildren.

A heavy police presence monitored the situation since Saturday morning and had kept the two groups separate.

The African National Congress supporters were on a hill nearby when EFF members emerged from their meeting and began singing.

Some of the ANC group began throwing stones at them and police intervened using truncheons, a water canon 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 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 a house its members had built for Sthandiwe Hlongwane and her grandchildren.

The house has two bedrooms, a kitchen, a shower room and a septic tank, and stands about 300 metres 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,” he said. -Sapa



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