Massive Pretoria protest calls on Zuma to resign

He also called on African National Congress members to ignore the opposition.

Participants from a range of South Africa's opposition parties, including some with major ideological differences, chanted in unison: "Zuma must go".

We thank the patriotic South Africans who are coming out in numbers to oppose Zuma's corruption, recklessness and self-enrichment in mass action across the country, including yesterday's National Day of Action.

President Jacob Zuma appeared stress-free and quite relaxed at his birthday festivities on Wednesday, saying that his supporters should pay no heed to "matters" happening elsewhere.

Last week thousands of South Africans marched and held pickets in order to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with Zuma as the country's president. "I thank the ANC for making my birthday a special day by organising this event". "Those rich people. they've been hating for a while now. They're not my friends and will never be my friends", President Zuma told supporters. Tens of thousands of South Africans donned bright colors and marched to his official residence in central Pretoria, singing and dancing as they made their way through the streets.

The president's recent dismissal of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan stoked public anger over government corruption scandals, record unemployment and slowing economic growth.

Former President Thabo Mbeki, in an opinion piece in the Johannesburg-based Star newspaper, joined another former leader, Kgalema Motlanthe, in urging ANC lawmakers to vote with their conscience on an opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion in parliament on April 18.

The president has survived two rounds of no-confidence votes by virtue of the ruling party African National Congress (ANC) being the majority in the parliament.

The demonstration is a backdrop to the motion of no confidence vote in Zuma next Tuesday. 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.

Zuma lauded Hani as a real fighter against racism, who lost his life at the hands of hard-core racists, Xinhua news agency reported.

Opposition political parties gather on the lawns of the Government Union Buildings in Pretoria, April 12, 2017.

  • Leroy Wright