Cape Town - Police fired stun grenades on Thursday to disperse crowds that were threatening to breach barricades erected outside parliament ahead of President Jacob Zuma's annual State of Nation Address
Thousands of protesters were heading to Parliament from different directions in defiance of police orders to move back.
Scuffles between protestors and police were reported and stun grenades were heard.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has threatened to disrupt Parliament if Zuma fails to explain in his SONA why he fired Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene late last year, a move that caused market turmoil.
Earlier, a police officer, who refused to be named, said they have water cannons and stun grenades to contain possible riots.
He said police anticipated the worst scenario to happen during Zuma's SONA.
Reuters, Xinhau and IOL MOJO
Police engage pic.twitter.com/l3CaW50vM6