Johannesburg - The African National Congress (ANC) on Monday condemned the alleged assault of protestors who had gathered outside the party's Johannesburg headquarters in support of embattled president Jacob Zuma.
Scuffles broke out outside Luthuli House on Monday after supporters of Zuma tried to lead a protest against his possible recall from office.
Members of the Black First Land First (BLF) movement, who are calling for Zuma to be allowed to serve out his term as country president until 2019, were greeted by ANC supporters who proceeded to disperse them, and in the process attacking a vehicle which had been transporting BLF members.
In a statement, the ANC said it condemns in the "strongest possible terms the assault of protestors by a grouping outside the ANC Headquarters, Chief Albert Luthuli House".
"Regardless of what some may deem as provocation by the Black First Land First Movement who intended to march to Luthuli House, there will never be any justification for scenes as the ones witnessed today," ANC spokesperson Khusela Diko said. "Disturbing in the extreme is the assault of women in so callous and dehumanizing manner.
"The ANC calls upon on law enforcement agencies to act without fear or favor to bring the perpetrators to book. Should these perpetrator be found to be members of the ANC, the relevant structures, must without any delay, institute disciplinary proceedings against them."
The group of men, who had filled the vehicle, were seen running away in different directions, some even leaving their shoes behind. Police had to escort the driver of the vehicle out of the area after some ANC members started attacking it.
The BLF supporters, who are leading a "Hands off Zuma" campaign, did not return to Luthuli House.
The ANC supporters described the actions of BLF members as unacceptable and undermining authority.
African News Agency/ANA