“Don’t give hooligans free airtime‚” Gwede Mantashe told a crowd in the Johannesburg city centre on Monday afternoon.
The African National Congress’ (ANC) secretary-general was referring to the #OccupyLuthuliHouse protesters who had gathered to demand the removal of President Jacob Zuma and other changes within the ruling party.
That protest was curtailed when organisers toned down its action after claiming to have received threats from the ANC’s youth and women’s leagues and military veterans asscoiation‚ who had gathered with posters reading #DefendLuthuliHouse.
Mantashe appealed to those who had assembled to defend the ANC’s headquarters to not allow the protest to turn violent.
This appeared to have gone unheeded by some as scuffles were seen to break out as Mantashe was being ushered back to Luthuli House after reportedly receiving a memorandum of demands from the #OccupyLuthuliHouse protesters.
It was not clear who was involved in the melee‚ as even ANC Youth League president Collen Maine had earlier lamented that “it’s quite unfortunate that they are using our colours”‚ when referring to the #OccupyLuthuliHouse crowd. – TMG Digital