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Tensions flare on Vilakazi Street

ANCYL and EFF supporters engaged in name-calling and exchanged swear words.

EFF supporters arrive at Vilakazi Street in Soweto for an ANC Youth League-hosted prayer session for Nelson Mandela, 8 December 2013. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

SOWETO - Tensions are high between supporters of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Vilakazi Street, Soweto, on Sunday afternoon.

Hundreds of ANCYL supporters held a prayer service in the area and visited Mandela House museum to honour former President Nelson Mandela.

The 95-year-old died at his Houghton home on Thursday evening.

But officials from the League are fuming after a crowd of more than 200 EFF supporters arrived, wearing their red T-shirts and berets, chanting struggle songs.

EFF supporters were met by angry ANCYL members, resulting in a heated exchange.

The two groups engaged in name-calling and exchanged swear words.

The youth league says they want the EFF to leave because they are only there to make things difficult for them.

But EFF members ignored their demands.

Meanwhile, roads leading to Orlando are congested as mourners, tourists and journalists continue to stream in from around the township, Johannesburg and the world.

A crowd of more than 100 people wearing Cosatu shirts are marching to the area singing struggle songs.

Soweto's Biker Boys are also there, flying the ANC flag from their motorbikes while pulling stunts.

Some street traders on the side of the road are selling Nelson Mandela T-shirts, South African flags and ANC flags.

A number of the tourists from different parts of the world say they also want to be a part of the national day of prayer and reflection for Madiba.

Various events will take place on Sunday and for the rest of the week.