Official Freedom Day event marred by EFF-ANC stand-off

The EFF group claimed they were denied access to the event and could not hear President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech.

National Freedom Day Celebration in Makhanda, Eastern Cape. Picture: SA Government.

MAKHANDA - Freedom Day celebrations in Makhanda were marred by a stand-off between African National Congress (ANC) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members outside the venue.

The EFF group claimed they were denied access to the event and could not hear President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech.

Inside the large marquee at Miki Yili Stadium, Freedom Day celebrations could be mistaken for an ANC rally, with many in the crowd wearing party regalia and singing party campaign songs.

After official commemorations were concluded, a small group of EFF supporters, led by councillor Siyamthanda Dyantjie claimed they were denied access to the celebration.

"This was supposed to be an event of the people, not political parties, but the mere fact that they mobilised their own membership to come here, it sent the wrong message to us, that’s why we had to come. Coming here, we had to spend 10 - 30 minutes right at the entrance, because we were not allowed to come in because of our T-shirts.”

At some point, ANC members sang songs telling the EFF supporters to leave, while gesturing with their hands.

The tense situation later calmed.