ANCYL disperses after tense Absa bank occupation

ANCYL members outside a Durban CBD branch of Absa bank. (Jeff Wicks/News24)
ANCYL members outside a Durban CBD branch of Absa bank. (Jeff Wicks/News24)

Durban - After a tense standoff, hundreds of African National Congress occupying an Absa branch in Durban dispersed.

Earlier, hundreds of ANC Youth League members occupied an Absa bank in the Durban central business district on Thursday.

The protesters descended on the Anton Lembede Street branch, barged their way in, and formed a human barricade on the pavement.

"The picket is part of a national call for action against Absa in order to force it to pay back the money it looted from our people," the KwaZulu-Natal youth league said in a statement.

READ: Protesting ANCYL supporters barge into Durban Absa bank

Struggle songs rose from the crowd, which spilled into the street and partially obstructed traffic.

Several SAPS members kept a close eye on the protestors which were accompanied by a public address system raised on a bakkie.

The situation later calmed down and the group dispersed. Similar actions were expected in economic hubs across the country.

The ANCYL embarked on the protest in reaction to a preliminary Public Protector report which found that Absa had benefitted from an unlawful apartheid-era bailout from the SARB when it bought Bankorp in 1992.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane recommended, in the leaked report, that Absa pay back R2.25bn.

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