When boisterous ANC members attacked EFF leader Julius Malema and his supporters on the final day of his party's voter mobilization effort in KwaZulu-Natal, it was a difficult day for him and his followers.
The nasty scenes in Pietermaritzburg's Dambuza and Willowfontein townships on Sunday prompted Malema to declare that there can't be free and fair elections if the ANC is preventing other registered parties from participating.
At least three voting sites were involved in the heated standoff, with ANC members locking the gates at one of them.
EFF activists had to create a human barrier around Malema and take him to a voting station in Dambuza township during one incident.
Members of the EFF were placed against ANC members who were attempting to pierce his shield.
When EFF members confronted members of the ruling party, there was a brief exchange of blows and insults.
Malema eventually left the station, escorted by his bodyguards, and headed to another station in Willowfontein.
Members of the ANC surrounded and followed EFF members around the township. The outcome of the brawl was not immediately known.
Malema would subsequently face the most vehement opposition at Willowfontein's Thandokuhle register when ANC members barricaded the gates and urged him to leave.
Marshal Dlamini, the EFF secretary general, attempted but failed to lead EFF members to break the ANC blockage.
After nearly an hour of standoff, armed police arrived, summoned leaders from all parties, and arranged an agreement that resulted in the gates being opened, and Malema inspecting the station before leaving.
As Malema and his followers left the registration station, a mob of noisy and irate ANC members surrounded them.
Sibusiso Mkhize, the leader of the ANC branch in the region, said his members were enraged because the EFF reportedly bused in people to register in the ward and vote for a doubtful candidate.
He also charged the EFF with participating in unethical behavior.
"The EFF was registering people who did not live in this ward to vote for its dubious candidates. Our people were only attempting to put a stop to it "Mkhize explained.
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