DA: We're here to send a clear message
The DA says the anti-Jacob Zuma march to the Union Buildings is against Zuma’s lawlessness and about putting South Africans first.
PRETORIA – President Jacob Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle which resulted in the sacking of Ngoako Ramatlodi and five other ministers and the country’s subsequent credit downgrade to junk status have led to Wednesday’s anti-Zuma march to the Union Buildings.
Opposition parties including the Democratic Alliance (DA), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), United Democratic Movement (UDM) and African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) will lead thousands of South Africans in their call for Zuma to step down.
The DA says today's march is against Zuma’s lawlessness and about putting South Africans first.
The party’s Mabine Seabe is at Church Square and says their message is clear.
“Ultimately, we’re going to conduct ourselves in a peaceful, democratic and discipline manner. We’re not here to agitate anyone, we’re here to send a clear message to the Presidency which is occupied by someone who’s lawless.
“So we’re not going to perpetuate the lawlessness of President Jacob Zuma, we’re going to be peaceful and we’re going to march and send our message.”
A few people have started trickling in while police patrol the area. Some can be seen carrying South African flags and posters.
Those gathered at Church Square say they are concerned about the state of the country.
“Unfortunately, police have blocked off roads and not allowing people through. When we did try to join the EFF, they were running really quick, so we couldn’t keep up with them,” a protester said.
DA member of the Gauteng legislature Ariana Randall says this is beyond her party or any other political affiliation.
“It’s a country at stake. It’s every South African citizen at stake, so it’s not about a political party today, it’s about the ordinary man on the street, whether you’re DA, EFF, UDM or ACDP.”
There’s a heavy police presence as officers prepare to monitor the thousands of people expected here in the next hour or so.
POLICE MONITOR PROTEST
Acting National Police Commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane says his officers are ready to handle the protest.
“It’s going very well and we’re in a phase we’re executing that plan. All is going well so far and members of the South African Police Service are here.”
Opposition parties are determined to work together for Zuma’s resignation.
The Shosholoza Progressive Movement's Dr Raynauld Russon says they've written to the ANC to offer Zuma a peaceful exit.
“He must resign within 72 hours or else we will push him out of office.”
United Democratic Front's Tebogo Malema says today is Zuma’s death day.
“We will mobilise and work together with all opposition parties to root him out.”
Save SA’s Themba Masango says the march is not about differences in political ideology.
“As civil society, we are here today in support of all political parties. We may not agree on political ideologies, but we all agree that Zuma must go.”
(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)