Police in South Africa dispersed over 2 000 pro-democracy marchers after violence broke out among the activists who were demonstrating on the sidelines of the Sadc summit in Sandton, Johannesburg, on Saturday morning.
Violence broke out after an MDC-T activist allegedly assaulted an MDC-N activist with teargas on the face.
The sources said after delivering their different party speeches denouncing violence back home, an MDC-T activist reportedly assaulted an MDC-N supporter resulting in the scuffle.
Crisis Coalition of Zimbabwe official Dewa Mavhinga confirmed there were disturbances towards the end of the rally.
“What I can confirm is that because of the Albertina Sisulu burial, we had been allocated time between 9am and 12 noon and our marches and rally ended at 12 noon.
“There were disturbances and attempts to disrupt the rally towards the end,” he said.
An MDC official in South Africa, Nqabutho Dube, blamed the civil society for the disturbances.
“There were some skirmishes during the march.
There were disruptions and people had to disperse as a result. The problem is that when the civic society was planning and organising this march they did not engage political parties and as a result when they tried to address political parties’ supporters, there was some noise,” he said.
The South African Police Service police could not confirm the development, referring NewsDay to their communications department which they said would only be at work today.
But according to sources in South Africa, the march started in peace but halfway through, there was an argument over what songs to sing and alleged MDC-T supporters complained about Mthwakazi Liberation Front(MLF) supporters singing Ndebele songs.
Contacted for comment, MLF secretary for legal affairs Sabelo Ngwenya said although there were skirmishes as a party they achieved their agenda.
“In so far as we are concerned, this march was a success because we achieved what we set to do, that is, bringing the Mthwakazi independence cause to the fore,” he said.