Fitch Downgrades South Africa As Thousands Demand Zuma's Resignation

Demonstrators protest against South African President Jacob Zuma outside the union building in Pretoria, South Africa, Friday, April 7, 2017.

The legality of the protests is still under question as the police said Thursday that the march in the capital did not have the permission of the authorities.

Zuma has been heavily criticized for a recent cabinet reshuffle, in the wake of which the country's foreign currency rating was downgraded to junk status. Adding to the woes of the weakening South African economy, the rand fell immediately by more than 2%.

Nobel Peace Prize victor Archbishop Desmond Tutu, one of Zuma's harshest critics, took part in a protest with a few others outside the retirement home where he and his wife are staying in Hermanus, a coastal town 120 km (76 miles) from Cape Town. Sangoni said that the ANC would continue speaking to civil society and everyone with grievances about Zuma.

On Friday, thousands of South Africans demonstrated peacefully across cities against Mr. Zuma's action, which appears to have triggered concerns about government corruption and a tottering economy.

It's believed that up to 50,000 people have turned out to protest against President Jacob Zouma across South Africa. Neonatal nurse Aubrey Mahlewele, 35, says he opposes Zuma, but stays away from protests as he opposes how they sometimes turn violent.

"We will never see the radical economic transformation while Zuma is still the President because he only serves his needs and those, who are in favour of him", Filtane said. The Guptas deny any wrongdoing, and Zuma has said there was nothing improper in the way he chose ministers.

While Friday's marches remained largely peaceful, groups of protesters scuffled outside the Johannesburg family mansion of the wealthy Gupta family. Far from those glory days, the ANC today is split over the question of support for Mr. Zuma.

Crowds are building ahead of demonstrations in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and the capital, Pretoria.

Amid all these troubles and protests nationwide, Arsenal fans from South Africa made a decision to kill two birds with one stone - march against Zuma AND Arsene Wenger!

Zuma, who's due to step down as ANC leader in December and as the nation's president in 2019, has survived a series of corruption scandals and presided over the party's worst-electoral performance since the end of apartheid in 1994 in municipal elections in August.

The marches were sparked by the African National Congress (ANC) leader's decision to reshuffle his cabinet late on March 30th, an undertaking that involved the sacking of six ministers.

Zuma's African National Congress (ANC) also staged its own rallies.

Meanwhile, the opposition has redoubled its efforts to overthrow Zuma, and filed a no-confidence motion against the country's president to be debated by members of parliament on April 18.

  • Leroy Wright