Flying bricks stop DA march

Johannesburg - Brick-carrying protesters wearing ANC T-shirts stormed the DA in central Johannesburg on Wednesday as its leader Helen Zille was about to address marchers.

The Democratic Alliance's march for "real jobs" 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, with groups of singing ANC supporters scattered all over the CBD.

Police were ready to fire off a salvo of rubber bullets, and a water cannon was wheeled out into the street.

The ANC said it had asked its members to refrain from carrying bricks.

"This is not a brick-throwing event," African National Congress spokesperson Jackson Mthembu told SAfm.

Mthembu said the ANC members who had gathered in town was merely trying to protect the ruling party's headquarters.

"Not anyone has suffered a brick to the head," said Mthembu.

"We have asked them not to carry bricks."

Earlier, a group of people, dressed in ANC attire, threw petrol bombs at police at the corner of Miriam Makeba and Fox streets.

A Sapa reporter at the scene said at least four petrol bombs were thrown at police near the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court.

Around 100 officers descended on the street to try and restore calm.

Police fired three stun grenades at a group of ANC supporters seen running towards the marchers.

DA Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane told reporters that members of the ANC had thrown stones at them.

DA supporters were re-routed back to the Westgate transport hub. "The protest is being re-routed back to the starting point," said metro police spokesperson Superintendent Wayne Minnaar.

The Democratic Alliance members were marching for "real jobs".

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