“Don’t try this at Luthuli House,” said the slogan on yellow ANC T-shirts worn by scores of supporters who marched outside the ruling party’s headquarters in the Johannesburg CBD, vowing to protect Luthuli House from the #OccupyLuthuliHouse protesters.
The two groups, one demanding the resignation of President Jacob Zuma, and the other, declaring “not in our name” and calling themselves protectors of the ANC’s head office, stood metres from each other at the Library Gardens and the Beyers Naude Square.
ANCYL leaders gathered at the Library Gardens near Luthuli House warned their supporters to take instructions as the crowd awaited ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe to arrive to receive the memorandum from the #OccupyLuthuliHouse group.
MK veterans were gathered at the entrance of the ANC headquarters and were surrounded by a large contingent of heavily armed police. Members of the party’s Women’s League were holding up placards that read: “#defendluthulihouse”.
Inside, members of the NEC, including Mantase and Cyril Ramaphosa, were said to have a arrived in a motorcade as security was beefed up at all the building’s entrances.
Members of the ANC Women’s League and the ANC Youth League, who were said to be staunch Zuma supporters, came in their numbers against the marginally smaller group of #OccupyLuthuliHouse protesters.
A memorandum of demands was expected to be handed over to a Luthuli House official at noon.