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Nkandla ANC opens case against police

Police used rubber bullets and a water cannon to restore order after a scuffle between ANC and EFF members.

Nkandla ANC members claim they were assaulted by police following a scuffle close to President Jacob Zuma's home on 11 January. Picture: City Press.

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) members who claim they were assaulted by the police when a scuffle broke out close to President Jacob Zuma's home in Nkandla at the weekend are now in the process of laying charges against the officers.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema and his supporters went to Nkandla on Saturday to donate a house to one of Zuma's neighbours, but were pelted with stones, requiring the police to step in.

Police used rubber bullets, tear gas and even a water cannon to try and restore order.

There were also reports of ANC members blocking a road to prevent Malema from entering the area.

Thirty people were arrested for public violence and appeared in court yesterday.

The ANC in the region claims police assaulted its members despite being granted permission from the chief in the area as well as the South African Police Service, but the ruling party says the EFF never received the green light to host its event near President Zuma's homestead.

The ANC's regional secretary Sboniso Xulu has accused the police of bias.

Malema's party claims a group of ANC members threw stones at their members because they were bitter about the EFF's successful campaign to upgrade a house for a family that lives close to Zuma's expensive homestead.

But Xulu says the party never gave any instructions to disrupt the EFF event and therefore cannot be held responsible.

He says community members were provoked by EFF members who wanted to do the media briefing in front of Zuma's home.

Meanwhile, 27 people accused of instigating the violence have been released on bail.

Three minors have also been released into their parents' custody.