ANC, EFF supporters clash in Soweto

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IOL pic dec8 ancyl eff vilakazi street clash sapa


Supporters of the ANC Youth League (in yellow) and EFF representatives exchange heated words on Vilakazi Street in Soweto. Picture: Sapa

Johannesburg -

African National Congress Youth League and EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) supporters nearly came to physical blows in Vilakazi Street in Soweto on Sunday.

Provincial leaders of the EFF were in the area, where Nelson Mandela once lived, to commemorate his death, when they came across a truck belonging to the ANCYL.

“You are not wanted here. Go,” one of the ANCYL members announced over the truck's sound system.

The two groups nearly got involved in a physical fight before an ANCYL supporter separated them. He told the crowd: “Let's not do this. Today, we are one, regardless of which party one belongs to.”

The groups then separated and the EFF leaders continued walking down the street, watched by several police officers.

Earlier, the EFF group arrived at the home of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Mandela's ex-wife, only to discover she was not there. Instead, a worker came out to the gate and gave the EFF supporters a condolence book to sign.

“A lot of people come and when she (Winnie) gets there, the first thing she does is read the messages,” the worker told Sapa.

The EFF leaders wrote and read out their message, before handing it over with a bunch of flowers.

“We wish you strength and know that we are here for you,” read an extract of their message.

Two neighbours came out to join EFF supporters at the front of the house. At first the neighbours appeared in ANC T-shirts, but as they joined the EFF group they took them off and put on EFF shirts given to them. One of the EFF supporters said he planned to use his party T-shirt as pyjamas.

Earlier, an 85-year old local resident said: “I support the ANC but I will join the EFF if they can fix my pavement. I'm painful of the passing of Madiba. We have everything because of him. But it was time, I guess.” - Sapa

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