Protesters in face-off with police near Parliament

2016-02-11 16:37
(Tammy Petersen, News24)

(Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Johannesburg - Razor wire and more police reinforcements were rolled out near Parliament on Thursday afternoon after hundreds of Ses'khona People's Rights Movement members attempted to break through a barrier fencing to make their way onto Parliament's precinct.

A member of the police was heard telling his colleague that they needed more officers on site, shortly before the two groups confronted each other.

Hundreds of protesters, who had earlier gathered in the Cape Town CBD for an anti-racism march, had moved to Barrack Street near Parliament's precinct. President Jacob Zuma will deliver the State of the Nation address in Parliament later on Thursday. 

Members of the police were seen trying to roll out more razor wire to keep the crowd at a distance. The group could be heard singing and chanting from inside Parliament.

Protesters managed to break a barrier fence manned by police in riot gear, but were eventually pushed back by the officers. There appeared to be a stand-off between officers and the large group, some of whom were wearing ANC branded T-shirts and waving ANC flags.

One protester was heard yelling "julle ma se poese" at police officers. 

A group of 50 officers were heading towards the barrier to contain the crowd, while water cannon was being readied to spray the crowd if necessary.

Three police nyalas were also seen driving from Parliament towards the crowd.

Shoes could be seen on the street after police had been instructed to push the crowd back, causing some people to fall. 

One officer helped a pedestrian to her feet after she fell during the commotion. 

Police managed to contain the clash between Barack and Spin streets and the gap which had been made in the barrier fence was closed again.

Some rocks and bottles were thrown at the officers.

Meanwhile, it was business as usual in Parliament.

Protesters were told by police to return to the Grand Parade. They could be seen walking toward Corporation Street.

"Why are you pushing us? You are white!" one protester told an officer.

Read more on:    cape town  |  state of the nation 2016  |  protests

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