Thousands unite against Zuma at Union Buildings
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 09, 2017,
Apr 09, 2017, 8:34
Protesters are expected to get together close to the headquarters of the country's ruling party in Johannesburg, leading to a number of veterans and youth wing members of the party to gather outside the building to protect it, BBC reported.
Pravin Gordhan, who was sacked as finance minister in late-night Cabinet reshuffle a week ago, was widely respecte for his anti-corruption stance.
The Standard & Poor's agency lowered South Africa's foreign currency credit rating after the dismissal, citing political instability and threats to economic growth. S&P had issued its downgrade on South Africa in an unscheduled review on Monday.
Police used stun grenades to break up the clash between the anti-Zuma and pro-Zuma groups at the gates of the Gupta compound.
Supporters then joined in and made it clear they are willing to protect Zuma with their lives.
The violence, however, was not replicated anywhere else in the country.
Congress of the People (COPE) leader Mosiuoa Lekota told supporters that the country's leaders are not respecting the will of the people. Some held placards saying "Fire Zuma". In the capital, Pretoria, they marched to the Union Buildings, which houses many government offices.
"The irony is I did the same thing in 1976 when I was a student".
Police said on Thursday that marches in Pretoria were illegal because they had not been granted permission by city authorities.
The DA's Zwakele Mncwango said that former president Nelson Mandela would have been proud of all those who marched.
Fitch said it believed that political energy would be absorbed by efforts to maintain party unity and fight calls for the president to step down. At local elections a year ago, his party lost its majorities in Johannesburg and the municipality that includes Pretoria. "Cape Town came to a standstill today".
This came as tens of thousands of South Africans marched through the streets of major cities to protest against Zuma. "There has been no such discussion", ANC spokesperson Khusela Sangoni said, when asked if the protests had led to any discussions in the party about Zuma.
"I think this is a really important moment", said Nic Cheeseman, an expert in democracy in Africa at Birmingham University.
"Let them wait for 2019 and we will take them on, but the ones that want to remove it undemocratically, MKMVA will rise up to the occasion".
The rand was steady against the dollar in early trade on Friday.
"We have started a movement for change".
"We have the choice to protect Zuma or protect the country and I have no doubt we will all choose the second".
Residents from Port Alfred gathered outside the Magistrate's Court, all as part of driving the message home that "Zuma must go".
"It's not simply a question of his removal".
"There is a battle for the soul of the ANC", Cheeseman said.
That's one way to make the most of your time! Aabout 2,000 people were also marching in coastal city of Durban.