2014 was an election year. And it was a year for antics and shows of force.
The Democratic Alliance decided to march. And their route ran straight past the ANC's headquarters Luthuli House.
The march was legally organised. But the ANC warned they will not have an opposition party march freely past their head quarters.
Its a threat that the DA wont take lightly or step down from, previous protest history between the two parties has proven that violent protest is going to be part of the day.
Arriving at Beyers Naude square in Newtown Johannesburg its clear to see that the ANC supporters are out in numbers and not prepared to allow the DA march to do as it pleases.
Bricks are being stockpiled under an image of the late Beyers Naude a white cleric who took a public stance against the Apartheid goverment. But, he had a drive towards racial reconciliation.
Quite ironic how an image of this peaceful activist now hosts a stockpile of ammunition for ANC to restrict the constitutional rights of another political party. I often wonder how many of South Africa's previous heroes have become just anonymous posters and pictures to the new South Africa.
ANC supporters are getting rowdy and the police are getting into full riot gear expecting an eventful day. I watch as buses are bringing in hoards of ANC supporters ready to defend their party's dignity.
The DA are finally on the march surrounded by huge Congolese body guards dressed in full black like bouncers at a night club.
But this is not a night club - its a political rally. Hopw did they think it was a good idea? Making your party feel safe by instilling Fourways club tactics is not the smartest solution.
Perhaps no security companies would accept the job due to political implications leaving the DA with no option but to exploit foreign labour.
Hellen Zille is on a loudhailer campaigning like its her last day in politics. It doesn't take long for the ANC supporters to meet up with the DA at Ghandi Square and its definetely show down time! A type of celebrity death match: The ignorant DA vs the unpredictable ANC.
Its a metaphor for their governing policies and is interesting to see played out in this fashion.
A protagonist group of ANC supporters rush the police taunting them inciting a police reaction which will be responded to. A concussion grenade goes off in front of the advancing ANC supporters breaking the ice and setting the wheels of this pathetic show of South African politics in motion.
Its a tit for tat kind of skirmish starting with concussion grenades being traded for volleys of bricks and rubber bullets for Molotov Cocktails.
The DA soon decides its not going to stand and fight and turns on their heels in retreat. Panic ensues in the DA ranks and the conflict breaks into a running battle where police hold a single block between ANC and DA supporters.
ANC supporters break away and keep trying to leap frog the police by running around the block and trying to get to the DA via adjacent roads.
After skirmishes between ANC and the police eventually come to an end there is jubilation amongst ANC supporters happy with their tactics of a good offense being the best defense.
The threat of the DA has been beaten away with bricks and fire.
This is a worrying display of politics on many levels, violence by the ruling party has halted democracy. A provocative act by the DA has revealed the lengths the ANC are willing to go to in order to remain in control.
What does this mean for democratic South Africa?
Are we truly this flag ship of democracy the rest of the world expected us to be if the very party who rules us wont even allow an opposition march?
Is this the best our opposition has to offer - taunting the ANC?
What lengths would the ANC go to in order to mantain power? Are we a democracy if we cannot act in a democratic manner?
I end the day at the starting point of the DA march to find all the Congolese body guards complaining that there is no one there to pay them their promised R400.
The DA marches starting point is empty except for the immigrants expecting a political party to keep their promises.
A campaign promise from the DA is to create 6 million jobs. Yet they can't pay their night club bouncers. Its pretty pathetic.
Provoking an attack for media attention is one thing but not sticking to your parties main political campaigns is sheer hypocrisy.
Basically this day leaves me feeling that the May 7th elections are a pointless exercise. We have no real choice of a political party with the peoples needs as their sole priority.
You may also like
Different.Org & Flying For Life
Forced Building Eviction, Berea
New Years day Durban beach
EFF ,on the road with the Fighters
Democratic Republic of Congo
New Year's Eve Hillbrow, Johannesburg
Eldorado Park Documentary