As Zuma Marks Birthday, South Africans Set to Hold Protest March
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 16, 2017,
Apr 16, 2017, 11:37
The EFF's Julius Malema said South Africa can not be defeated by an "illiterate president". It's the second round of mass protests in less than a week. She even voted for Zuma, but she says it's time for a change.
Unfortunately for the president, more protests are planned for Wednesday - his 75th birthday.
However, opposition parties are taking legal action to try and force a secret ballot. He was sacked by President over two weeks ago, together with his deputy, former Eastern Cape MEC for Economic Development, Mcebisi Jonas, in a controversial Cabinet Reshuffle that has since seen the country downgraded to junk status by two rating agencies.
ANC Youth League general secretary Njabulo Nzuza promised Zuma that the "young lions" of the youth league would avail themselves to protect its leader. She wears the red shirt of the Economic Freedom Fighters. "They made so many promises, but we've seen nothing", said Mthobehi Sigagayi, 35, who had traveled to Pretoria from the Alexandra township, a development just across from Sandton, Johannesburg's modern business capital, that has battled poverty and crime.
Meanwhile, President Zuma hit back during his 75th birthday celebrations held in Soweto on Wednesday afternoon, saying he is doing well and "has no strees".
Many South Africans saw the cabinet reshuffle as a naked attempt to consolidate power, with Zuma surrounding himself with inexperienced, manipulable bureaucrats.
The economic situation has deeply worsened, over the last six years.
The parties marched on Wednesday in Pretoria demanding that he resign. Veterans of the party, including all those jailed with Nelson Mandela who are still alive, called for a national conference to discuss South Africa's worst political crisis in a decade.
"We have sadly not yet succeeded in building the non-racial society that we envisaged", Zuma said at the Chris Hani Wreath Laying Ceremony and handover of the Chris Hani heritage site in Boksburg, Gauteng province, on Monday. Zuma would still be president of the party.
The EFF and its leader, Julius Malema, have advocated a major redistribution of white-owned land.
"The DA's #NoConfidence petition has today exceeded 500 000 signatures, making our petition, if not already the biggest online political petition in South Africa ever, then certain to be the biggest", DA spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said.
The group said its hopes of getting the President to step down now lay with the Integrity Committee, which had summoned Zuma.