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Calls for Zuma to step down far from over, opposition parties garner support

Thousands of South Africans took to the streets in protest against Zuma following the controversial cabinet reshuffle.

DA supporters joined the #DAMarch as they marched to Mary Fitzgerald square in Johannesburg against the leadership of President Jacob Zuma on 7 April 2017. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The call for President Jacob Zuma to step down is far from over, with protests now expected to be escalated in the coming weeks.

Thousands of South Africans took to the streets in protest against Zuma following the controversial cabinet reshuffle, which has prompted some ratings agencies to down grade the country to junk status

Opposition parties are now planning another march to the Union Buildings on Wednesday.

Organisations such as Save SA, and the Black Sash were among those behind Friday’s protests which saw thousands of South Africans voicing their dissatisfaction with Zuma’s leadership.

Now the Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Congress of the People and the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) say they will rally supporters to the union buildings on Wednesday.

Cope’s Dennis Bloem says they will not get tired of marching until Zuma resigns.

“Our supporters will gather outside Parliament when Members of Parliament will debate the vote of no confidence against Mr. Zuma.”

Meanwhile, a motion of no confidence against Zuma will be debated on 18 April in Parliament.

EFF INVITES ANC MEMBERS

The EFF said African National Congress (ANC) members are welcome to join them in a protest against President Jacob Zuma at the Union Buildings in Pretoria next Wednesday.

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said, “All members of the ANC as well are invited to come and join because this is not a call to remove the ANC, it’s a call to remove one individual who’s at the infant stages of dictatorship.

“Let us unite against Zuma and his Gupta plan to take the country for his personal profit and corruption.”

CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS URGE CITIZENS

Civil society groups have called on South Africans to prepare to head out to the streets again until Zuma is booted out of office.

Thousands of Capetonians, led by the Save SA campaign and South Africa First Forum, marched to Parliament on Friday to call for Zuma to step down.

The action comes a week after Zuma fired five ministers and the demonstrators say they will also start campaigns against government spending on nuclear energy.

The protestors’ directed their anger at Zuma, with posters describing him as a “criminal” and a “Gupta puppet”.

South Africa First Forum’s Naeem Frances said residents may have to come out again in their numbers for the same cause.

“In small little pockets, go out there and raise your hand as ordinary individuals.”

Save SA’s Lawson Naidoo said the action is not just about the cabinet reshuffle and has been long coming.

“This is about the way our country is being misgoverned, about the way Zuma has allowed state institutions to be captured for the benefit of his business friends such as the Guptas.”

The organisations are also hoping the protest will convince MPs to vote in favour of a motion of no confidence in Zuma.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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