Chaos as KZN ANCYL supporters locked out

2011-10-04 00:00

A STAMPEDE was miraculously averted at the ANC’s Durban offices last night after security guards fired teargas to disperse hundreds of ANC Youth League members.

They had gathered outside a meeting at which the ANCYL’s national executives were giving a report about the disbandment of the KZN provincial leadership.

The chaos started when leaders from branches around Durban were prevented from participating because their names were not on a list that was being checked.

As the number of members being turned away increased, many found themselves in a passage near the lifts on the 21st floor of the Commercial building.

When their numbers reached about 200 they started toyi-toyiing. Security guards tried to close the door from the passage to the offices, a move the crowd resisted.

More security guards were brought in and they sprayed teargas into the crowd in the closed passage, which has no windows.

Chaos erupted as people tried to run away. This reporter was caught up amid falling people. Some were vomiting; others rushed to taps to wash their faces.

The members were forced to walk from the 21st floor to the ground floor to exit the building, escorted by armed security guards. They gathered outside where they met the disbanded ANCYL leadership, who had just arrived from an ANC provincial working committee meeting.

At the time of writing the ANC meeting was still going on inside while the crowd opposing the disbandment were toyi-toyiing in Commercial Street with police keeping a close watch.

The youth league’s national leadership has embarked on a campaign to explain its decision to disband the provincial leadership to its members in KZN.

No members of the national leadership were available to comment as they were all in the meeting.

skhumbuzo.miya@witness.co.za

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