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Police, learners in standoff ahead of #Sona2017

The small group of pupils has been told its marching in the streets is illegal as they don’t have a permit.

FILE: Police officers seen among protesting Cosas members in Cape Town’s CBD. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - With just less than an hour before President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address (Sona), Public Order Police have been locked in a tense standoff with schoolchildren in the Cape Town city centre.

The small group of pupils has been told its marching in the streets is illegal as they don’t have a permit.

WATCH: Tensions run high outside parliamentary precinct

This came as the Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) Western Cape supporters gathered a stone’s throw from there.

The group of up to 200 pupils is supported by ANC-affiliated Cosas and some of the party’s regional members.

They have been trying to march to Adderley Street where a crowd of EFF supporters is gathering.

Public Order Police with shields in hand pushed them back.

An officer shouted, “Move back! Move back!”

A more senior African National Congress member tried to talk them down.

"We are her to provide leadership. We are leaders."

Cosas claims four learners were hurt during the chaos.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)