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ANC supporters disrupt EFF Nkandla house handover

Giordano Stolley

Julius Malema's handover of an EFF-built house caused a fracas outside Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead, with ANC supporters disrupting proceedings.

Julius Malema was expected to hand over a house built by EFF members near Zuma's Nkandla homestead to a local woman and her grandchildren. (Gallo)

A few hundred ANC supporters protested outside President Jacob Zuma's controversial Nkandla residence on Saturday ahead of the handover of a house built by party members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)​.

A contingent of police officers manned the entrance to the property, which is about 300m from the perimeter fence of Zuma's KwaZulu-Natal homestead.

Police erected a roadblock about a 1km from the house that the EFF has built for a woman and her grandchildren. All vehicles passing through the roadblock were searched thoroughly.

Earlier, a group of around 40 police officers in riot gear were briefed near the entrance to the EFF house. About 70 police cars, as well Nyalas, riot vehicles and a police tow truck lined the road. A helicopter flew overhead.

Red beret workers
EFF members, wearing the party's distinctive red berets, were putting the final touches to the roof of the home earlier in the day. The walls of the house were freshly plastered.

A marquee with chairs was set up next to the house for the handover.

The ANC supporters gathered on the road near Zuma's home, singing. They later began marching, escorted by police, who ensured they remained on the right side of the road.

Several of them wore T-shirts bearing Zuma's face.

They marched past the house slowly without incident, stopping several times to sing songs and shout: "Phansi Julius [Down with EFF leader Julius Malema]" .

Malema was only expected to arrive for the handing over ceremony later in the day.

No inspection
The EFF said on Friday that Malema would not inspect Zuma's Nkandla homestead.

EFF "central command team" member Sipho Mbatha said: "He is not going to visit the palace. We don't want things to get too excited".

EFF KwaZulu-Natal convenor Vusi Khoza reiterated that Malema would not be inspecting Zuma's residence.

Khoza said EFF workers had been told they could not build the house wearing EFF clothing.

He said the local chief told the EFF that their workers could build the house as long as they did not wear party regalia.

"We just respected him, but we are there each and every day. Maybe later when EFF is in power we can convert it [Zuma's Nkandla home] into an educational facility," said Khoza.

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