Police deny using live ammo against EFF

An eNCA report quoted police spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini as saying live ammunition was used.

EFF push their way past policemen into the Gauteng Provincial Legislature in Johannesburg during a protest march on 22 July 2014. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Police spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini has denied claims that police used live ammunition against a large group of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members protesting at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature this afternoon.

Hundreds of EFF supporters marched on the building today to protest the removal of eight members in the provincial legislature earlier this month.

Speaker Ntombi Mekgwe had ordered police to remove the members due to slogans on their overalls allegedly contravening house rules.

The protest today resulted in a dangerous stand-off with police after several EFF supporters forced their way into the building.

Eventually, action was taken to disperse the crowds, including firing rubber bullets, stun grenades and teargas.

But party leader Julius Malema, speaking live on eNCA, said he believed live ammunition was also used.

In an article on its website, the news channel then quoted Dlamini as saying, "Live ammo and stun grenades were fired when the crowed got out of control."

However, speaking to Eyewitness News , Dlamini said only rubber bullets were fired and that live ammunition was not used.

"There was a scuffle between the police and the followers of Mr Malema and police had to fire rubber bullets and stun grenades," he said.

Several injuries have been reported by the EFF while Dlamini says police officials reported some slight injuries sustained during the scuffle.

He adds that no arrests have been made but the police will be opening a case of public violence and malicious damage to property.

Damage was done to the legislature building itself as well as property in the surrounding area.

Pictures: Masego Rahlaga/EWN & Sapa.