South Africans hold nationwide protests against Zuma

Bruno Cirelli
Aprile 18, 2017

South Africa's Deputy-President Cyril Ramaphosa, among other senior ANC officials, called Zuma's decision "totally unacceptable", and the move appeared to have exposed deep divisions in the party, which has ruled the country virtually unchallenged since the end of white-minority rule-known as apartheid-in 1994.

Elsewhere in Cape Town, protesters formed human chains along streets, to express their unhappiness with Zuma who is facing mounting pressure to resign after he reshuffled the cabinet last week.

Two groups of protesters also scuffled outside the Gupta family mansion in Saxonwold, in Johannesburg's wealthy Sandton business district and the Police presence was beefed up outside the residence to keep anti-Zuma and pro-Zuma protesters apart.

Congress of the People wants to applaud all the people of South Africa for coming out in their thousands to demand that Zuma must step down.

Demonstrations are taking place in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. They need a second revolution aimed at discovering the kind of leadership that puts people first. However, there was sporadic violence between pro- and anti-Zuma supporters in Johannesburg when members of the latter group strayed too close to the ANC's headquarters in the city centre.

ANCYL president Collin Maine says the ANC is not deterred by anti-Zuma protests.

It also led to a rapid credit ratings downgrade to junk status by Standard & Poor's.

The London protesters consist of South Africans who identified themselves with either African National Congress or Democratic Alliance, the two major political parties in South Africa, yet the two group are in agreement that President Zuma is too worn out to take the county forward.

"This president is mishandling the presidency and he should leave office", said Graham Fish, 62. "That hope is alive in our country".

Meanwhile, the opposition has redoubled its efforts to overthrow Zuma, and filed a no-confidence motion against the country's president to be debated by members of parliament on April 18.

The leader of the main opposition Democratic Aliiance (DA) Mmusi Maimane, who led the demonstration in Johannesburg, said the protests were about protecting the hard-earned democracy of Nelson Mandela.

Zuma sacked Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan last Thursday, which outraged allies and opponents alike and undermined his authority causing rifts in the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

"The economy is not an instrument to settle petty factional and political scores within the ANC; and every time Mr Zuma ventures down this avenue it is South Africans that suffer".

Nkosi said Cosas came out in their "numbers" to defend the ANC and Luthuli House against the DA and Economic Freedom Fighters.

Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu, 85, made a rare public appearance to support the protests.

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