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Gauteng SACP won't support opposition's anti-Zuma marches

The SACP says while it supports calls for President Jacob Zuma to step down, it will never side with the opposition.

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 – As opposition parties plan to take to the streets of the capital on Wednesday in what’s been dubbed as the "day of mass action", the South African Communist Party (SACP) in Gauteng says it won’t support what it calls bourgeois racist marches.

It says while it supports calls for Zuma to step down it will never side with the opposition.

The SACP says it disregards today’s march by opposition parties.

Provincial secretary Jacob Mamabolo says: “We have noted the planned protest march by political parties that represent different shades and factions of the bourgeois and the ruling class.”

Mamabolo says the communist party will instead picket outside National Treasury next Friday.

“We’ll also highlight the demand for the defence of our national sovereignty and sound financial institution.”

Meanwhile, opposition parties say Wednesday’s march to the Union Buildings forms part of rolling mass action campaign aimed at raising awareness among ordinary South Africans of the impact that President Jacob Zuma has on the country's ailing economy.

PHAHLANE CALLS FOR CALM MARCH

The police say while they expect peaceful anti-Zuma marches, they have put in place contingency measures in the event of clashes or violent disruptions.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane provided a security briefing in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Phahlane says has urged protesters and the march organisers to act responsibly.

“We plan to police the march action accordingly. There will obviously be contingency measures if the situation were to demand a different response, irrespective of who is making him or herself guilty of that, the police will act accordingly.”

Phahlane says at this stage, they expect the march to go smoothly, like the march to the Union Buildings last week.

However he warned, unlawful conduct will not be tolerated.

WATCH: Police Minister reports back on #PeoplesMarch

‘WE LOVE ZUMA’

As thousands of people prepare to march to the Union Buildings against Zuma on Wednesday, his supporters in Westonaria say they love the president and will be celebrating his 75th birthday with him.

Dozens gathered at the Afri-Park in Westonaria and he promised them a bright future.

The march will mark a second anti-Zuma protest in just six days.

One man said Zuma is a great leader and will stay as president until his term comes to an end.

“We believe in Zuma. He is our president we are going to protect him. We love him.”

Another resident says South Africans who are calling for him to step down are unfair.

“Hands off our president, we’ve had enough now.”

On Monday, Zuma said the marches against him, which took place on Friday, showed that racism is still rife in the country; a comment that has sparked outrage among some South Africans, saying the president is playing the race card.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)