JOHANNESBURG — Police yesterday threw stun grenades at people dressed in ANC gear, as they ran towards Democratic Alliance (DA) marchers on Rissik Street, Johannesburg.
A Sapa reporter said some people wearing ANC colours threw bricks at the police as this happened.
Police stopped the DA march soon after it began, saying this would be too dangerous. DA supporters sang the national anthem. The march stopped on the corner of Rissik and Marshall streets after the police told them it was too dangerous to move on to Beyers Naude Square.
As Zille was about to start speaking, a group of protesters in ANC attire came running down Rissik Street.
Zille shouted, “stay calm!”, but protesters threw bricks at DA members who turned around and started running back to the Westgate transport hub.
Police then blocked off roads in the city with nyalas (infantry mobility vehicles), with groups of singing ANC supporters scattered all over the central business district.
Police were ready to fire off a salvo of rubber bullets and a water cannon was wheeled out into the street.
The ANC had asked its members to refrain from carrying bricks, its spokesman said on Wednesday.
“This is not a brick-throwing event,” ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said. He said the ANC members who had gathered in town were merely trying to protect the ruling party’s headquarters.
“Not anyone has suffered a brick to the head. We have asked them not to carry bricks.”