Police fire rubber bullets at EFF crowd

Tensions outside the Gauteng Provincial Legislature have risen as the crowd grows angrier.

Members of the EFF protest outside the Gauteng Provincial Legislature on 22 July 2014. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Police have fired rubber bullets at angry supporters of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) outside the Gauteng Provincial Legislature in central Johannesburg.

EFF leader Julius Malema led a large march to the building earlier today in protest against the removal of provincial members earlier this month.

On 1 July, house speaker Ntombi Mekgwe ordered police to remove eight people wearing red overalls bearing the phrase 'asijiki' - meaning 'we are not turning back' - as the slogan constituted inappropriate attire.

An altercation broke out between those members and the police and two EFF members were injured during the scuffle.

Today, hundreds of people donning the party's trademark red berets and overalls gathered outside the legislature, with several of them forcing their way into the building.

Malema held a discussion with Mekgwe and the group has been awaiting a response from her, refusing to leave until their demands have been addressed.

#EFFmarch party leader Julius Malema sits on the floor, while he and his supporters wait to be addressed. MR pic.twitter.com/lFDMmTGaak

The situation became tense and the police resorted to firing rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse the surging crowd.

However, the effort failed to deter the protesters, with many of them approaching the officers and daring them to shoot and kill them, saying this is what they did to striking miners in Marikana.

Supporters say they will not leave, even if it means they have to sleep there overnight.