Protesters, police clash ahead of #Sona2016

Scuffles broke out when police tried to push the group back towards the Grande Parade.

Several protesters clashed with public order police in Cape Town ahead of Sona 2016. Picture: Xolani Koyana/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A violent stand-off has broken out close to Parliament between Ses'khona Peoples Rights Movement supporters and police.

The demonstrators broke off from a gathering at Keizergracht Street earlier and headed for Parliament ahead of President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address (Sona) at 7pm this evening.

WATCH: Ses'khona members break through police barrier

They are demanding to be allowed near Parliament, but they've been met by a barricade of public order police.

Scuffles broke out as police tried to push the group back towards the Grand Parade.

Picture by Aletta Harrison/EWN.

Officers gave them time to disperse but the group remained defiant.

The demonstrators have also been throwing objects, including stones and water bottles at police.

Meanwhile, more public order police re-enforcements have been called to assist.

A Ses'khona protester was injured during a stampede when riot police tried to disperse them.

Picture by Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

Meanwhile, The African National Congress (ANC) says police are antagonising peaceful crowds protesting at the Grand Parade.

A breakaway group from an earlier protest had gathered in front of Cape Town City Hall to commemorate former president Nelson Mandela's freedom speech 26 years ago.

The demonstrators were met by public order police trying to restore calm along Darling Street.

A police chopper circled the scene as the group dispersed across the parade.

The ANC's Jabu Mfusi believes scuffles with police earlier were uncalled for.

"We are in disarray because the police, I don't know what the police are doing and then some people were injured. We are trying to sort out this situation and the police are not assisting us."

Police remain on high alert.


Earlier today, they handed over a memorandum of demands to the Public Protector's office and the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) regarding grievances surrounding racism.

Singing struggle songs, the group called on the Public Protector and SHRC to investigate these matters.

They initially planned to march to the Democratic Alliance (DA)'s office, but police prevented them from moving through the city centre.