EFF leader Julius Malema's last day of his party’s voter mobilisation drive in KwaZulu-Natal ended on a bad note when rowdy ANC members harassed him and his supporters.
The ugly incidents played out at Dambuza and Willowfontein townships in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday, prompting Malema to say it can't be free and fair elections when the ANC is blocking other registered parties.
The tense stand-off happened in at least three voting stations and at one station, ANC members locked the gates.
A stand-off between ANC members and EFF members at Willowfontein, Pietermaritzburg on Sunday. VIDEO: Sihle Mavuso/ IOL Politics
In one incident at Dambuza township, EFF members had to form a human shield around Malema and escort him to a voting station.
That pitted EFF members against ANC members who were trying to break his shield.
At some point there was a brief exchange of blows and insults when EFF members took on members of the ruling party.
ANC members and EFF members briefly exchanged blows after EFF Leader Julius Malema arrived at a voting station in KwaDambuza in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday. EFF members at the station had to form a human shield to protect Malema from rowdy ANC who even attempted to assault him. VIDEO: Sihle Mavuso/ IOL Politics
Eventually Malema left the station under the watchful eye of his bodyguards and went to another station at Willowfontein.
ANC members mobbed the EFF members and followed them around the township. It was not immediately clear how the showdown ended.
Malema would later meet the strongest resistance at Thandokuhle registration at Willowfontein where the gates were locked and blockaded by ANC members who told him to get lost.
EFF leader Julius Malema addresses the media on Sunday after ANC members and EFF members briefly exchanging blows after his arrival at a voting station in KwaDambuza in Pietermaritzburg. VIDEO: Sihle Mavuso/ IOL Politics
EFF secretary general, Marshal Dlamini, tried to lead EFF members to break the blockade by ANC members but failed.
After almost an hour of the stand-off armed police arrived and called leaders of all parties and brokered a deal that led to the opening of the gates and Malema inspected the station and left.
Again, rowdy and angry ANC members mobbed Malema and his supporters as they were leaving the registration station.
The leader of the ANC branch in the area, Sibusiso Mkhize, said the reason why their members were angry was because the EFF allegedly bused in people to register in the ward and vote for a questionable figure.
He also accused the EFF of engaging in some unethical conduct.
"The EFF was bringing people who don't reside in this ward to register to vote for their dodgy candidates. Our people were just trying to stop that," Mkhize said.