SAPS are working overtime to try and control the large crowds assembled in Brackenfell this Friday. The EFF sent hundreds of their ‘fighters’ to protest outside of the high school – and were met by counter-demonstrators as well as a heavy police presence. However, an argument over numbers has become a key sub-plot this afternoon.
How many people have gathered in Brackenfell?
The EFF were initially only allowed 100 protesters, as per the agreed limits published in the permit issued this week. However, as more and more Red Berets flooded into Brackenfell, law enforcement officials agreed to allow the EFF an assembly of 500 people – the maximum number allowed under Level 1 restrictions.
#EFFInBrackenfell | EFF spokesperson, Vuyani Pambo, says police have allowed 500 members of their party to march to the school.
Initially, police said only 100 members are allowed to march to the school. #BrackenfellHigh
— Jacaranda News (@JacaNews) November 20, 2020
Counter-protesters turned away in Brackenfell
However, not everyone was able to get themselves in the thick of things. Protesters from a coalition of DA, Cape Party, and ACDP voters were turned away from Brackenfell High School by police, as they failed to acquire the correct paperwork:
The police have chased away the counter protestors at the #Brackenfellhighschool apparently they did not bother to do the paperwork and get approval for their “supervisory protests”.
— AFRICA ANALYST. (@MightiJamie) November 20, 2020
- Needless to say, that’s left a fairly salty taste in some mouths:
How ironic. The City approved a 100-person EFF march in #Brackenfell today but they ignored that limit.
On #Newzroom405, EFF members say SAPS applying this limit is ‘white monopoly capital’.
Thus, the EFF blames their own inability to organise & lead their own people, on WMC.
— ACDP South Africa (@A_C_D_P) November 20, 2020
Police fight for control
Earlier in the day, police were seen firing stun grenades and water cannons at protesting EFF members. They took a more hands-on approach as the official march began, physically breaking up these groups into smaller numbers:
Chaos erupted in Brackenfell when police cut a line through EFF protesters in order to limit the number of people who they would allow to march to Brackenfell High School. This was after negotiations between EFF leadership and police management to allow 500 marchers @TimesLIVE pic.twitter.com/fyenzeyxPm
— Aron Hyman (@aron_hyman) November 20, 2020