ANC veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. File photo

Johannesburg - ANC veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela arrived at a rally in Bekkersdal, west of Johannesburg on Saturday.

The African National Congress's rally at the Bekkersdal sports ground began with the singing of the national anthem at around 1pm.

People in ANC gear, said to be marshals, stood about a metre apart in front of a large crowd.

A podium had been set up.

Madikizela-Mandela is expected to address Bekkersdal residents at the rally.

The atmosphere was jovial, with ANC supporters, singing and dancing ahead of the rally.

Not many could fit under a marquee that had been set up, and dozens stood near it in the heat, some with umbrellas.

In March, the Democratic Alliance and the Bekkersdal Concerned Residents Association laid criminal charges against the ANC.

At the time Thabang Wesi, leader of the Bekkersdal Concerned Residents Association, said residents saw ANC “bodyguards” with weapons in the township shooting at unarmed people, mainly school pupils.

This was after an ANC delegation visiting the area were pelted with stones during a door-to-door campaign ahead of the May 7 general election.

Residents have reportedly warning the ruling party saying they would not be allowed to campaign in Bekkersdal unless Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane apologised in person for her dirty votes remarks. - Sapa