Protests urge S.Africa president to quit

"We need change because Zuma doesn't care about the people of South Africa".

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma reacts during the launch of a social housing project in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, April 1, 2017.

"It is clear some of our white compatriots regard black people as lesser human beings or subhuman", Zuma said.

Opposition parties are ramping up pressure on the ANC to act against President Jacob Zuma, uniting in a campaign calling for his removal.

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After his move, the South African rand tumbled and the country's bonds were downgraded to junk status.

Seven major opposition parties organized Wednesday's march at Pretoria's Union Buildings, and said they will continue to loudly, and peacefully, protest Zuma for the duration of his term, which is set to end in 2019. Zuma is expected to celebrate his birthday in Johannesburg at around the same time.

Zuma has committed his life and energies to the liberation of the people of South Africa, in particular, the oppressed and the poor of the poorest, the ANC said.

That's a political party that splintered from the African National Congress, the party Zuma leads and the party that has dominated South African politics since democracy began in 1994.

The ANC's alliance partners, including Cosatu boss President S'dumo Dlamini whose federation called for Zuma to resign, stepped on stage and wished Zuma a happy birthday.

"Even if we are five, the message will be conveyed that Zuma is causing havoc".

The rally brought together supporters of a kaleidoscope of opposition parties united only in their antipathy to the president.

"Don't be scared of them when you see them marching saying Zuma must go...but what has Zuma done?" The ANC has since tried to close ranks behind President Zuma and has vowed to defeat a no-confidence vote in parliament. The Programme Committee will now be requested to reflect on the implications of the postponement of the motion of no confidence on the programme of the House, especially in light of Rule 90 (rule of anticipation), Parliament said in a statement.

"In particular, the president has been at the forefront of the efforts to build a National Democratic Society underpinned by radical socio-economic transformation characterized by inclusive growth and a better life for all our people", the ANC said.

  • Leroy Wright