ANC supporters moved up and down Pixley Ka Seme Street, the address of Luthuli House, and chanted pro-Zuma slogans after lunchtime on Friday. They were later joined by a group of Congress of South African Students (COSAS) members.
Earlier, a Democratic Alliance supporter, clad in blue party colours was attacked as he tried to make his way through the CBD. He was walking through from the DA march in Newtown, and was met with insults and punches.
Two men clad in ANC t-shirts rescued him. The DA march ended by midday, after which supporters dispersed immediately. Police manned the Newtown precinct, making sure that the marchers from the two parties remained separated and do not clash. Pockets of ANC supporters who tried to cross onto Newtown were met with rubber bullets.
The Johannesburg leg of Friday's march, although initially billed as an anti-Zuma protest by the DA, saw ANC supporters, including members of the MK Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) taking over the CBD.
Leaders of the DA had no choice but to change their tact again and avoid the CBD, fearing possible violence.
The MKMVA formed a combat line around the governing party's head office, daring any DA member to approach the precinct. Other ANC supporters gathered at nearby Beyers Naude Square, in anticipation of DA supporters who had initially planned to march from the square to Newtown. An ANC supporter said it was obvious they had "taught the DA supporters a lesson" on Friday.
"You see, we did not have to do anything drastic, but just to show up and protect our house from people who think we are whims, and will just standby and watch. This is a second lesson they must take seriously after their first attempt to march here last year. [DA leader] Mmusi Maimane has seen what the ANC is made of...he must know we will never back down. Ever," said 25-year-old Martin Kgobe, who said he arrived in the CBD from Tembisa at 6am.