South African president accuses protesters of racism

Many South Africans have said President Zuma is blatantly playing the race card on an issue-based protest against his own defective style of leadership following a near catastrophic cabinet reshuffle when he sacked the much respected Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. The roots of the Democratic Alliance lie in white liberal opposition during apartheid, but the party has sought to broaden its appeal and made big gains in municipal elections a year ago.

The protest in Johannesburg was organised by the main opposition Democratic Alliance party, which many ANC supporters accuse of harbouring white racists.

South Africa's president is proceeding with official business despite calls for his resignation, attending a commemoration of an anti-apartheid leader who was assassinated in 1993.

Zulu also said she believed Zuma, like other ANC presidents, had the ability to lead the country through the many challenges it was now facing.

"We will have, and plan to, engage civil society formations, as well as our colleagues in other political parties to mobilise support for the people's "National Day of Action" at the Union Buildings in Pretoria", they added. He will increasingly find it hard to use race as an excuse.

Further demonstrations are planned on Wednesday ahead of a parliamentary motion of no confidence in the president on April 18.

A second ratings firm, Fitch, then followed S&P Global's lead, also downgrading South Africa to junk while the protests were taking place, citing the same reasons.

Zulu felt the need to take a stand amid questions over whether or not the ANC president was still the right person for the position and to navigate what is fast becoming a volatile economic climate for the country.

Black people make up 80 percent of the population, yet the lion's share of the economy in terms of ownership of land and companies remains in the hands of white people, who make up about 8 percent of the population. Twenty-three years into our freedom and democracy the majority of blacks are still economically disempowered and are dissatisfied with the limited economic gains from our liberation.

  • Leroy Wright