Pretoria marchers in high spirits, despite gloomy weather

2017-04-12 11:11
Video

High Spirits as EFF, Cope Supporters Sing Together in Church Square

2017-04-12 10:56

Thousands, including members of opposition parties and civil organisations, are expected to march from Church Square in Pretoria to the Union Buildings today against President Jacob Zuma.WATCH

Pretoria - Thousands of marchers have gathered in Pretoria's Church Square, singing and dancing to shake off the grey clouds above them, as various political parties prepare to march to the Union Buildings to call for President Jacob Zuma to step down.

Several Economic Freedom Fighters members, dressed in red T-shirts and their signature berets, held up sticks and placards, singing struggle songs.

With raincoats and umbrellas in hand, some members of the public held up signs which read, "Zuma's nuclear deal = Economic Suicide for SA", while others read "ANC leaders, show the people of South Africa you care! Make the right call!", "Zuma must go!" and "#SAMustRise".

A sea of blue also descended on Church Square, as scores of Democratic Alliance supporters arrived.

When asked why they had decided to come out and march, three women told News24 that they wanted to invoke a sense of positivity and unity in the country.

The growing crowd of predominantly EFF members were joined by members of the African People's Convention (APC) party, donning their green T-shirts and scarves.

One of the party's supporters told News24 that he was there to "call for Zuma's head".

APC leader Themba Godi, who had previously opposed opposition parties' motions of no confidence in Zuma, was also at the march, and told News24 that he was now involved because the situation had worsened.



Cope leader Mosioua Lekota was also among the crowd, saying it was "the first time in South Africa were opposition parties united saying Zuma must go".

He said that under former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, ANC MPs were allowed to follow their conscience.

One elderly woman in the crowd help up a sign with a prayer, which read: "We pray for our leaders to be wide, good, humble, moral clarity, restoration of dignity for our country. Lord, let your Kingdom come and save South Africa."



Thousands were expected to march to the Union Buildings, as the ANC prepares to celebrate President Jacob Zuma's 75th birthday in Kliptown, Soweto, this afternoon.

On Friday, thousands of South Africans marched and held pickets in order to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with Zuma as the country's president.

The rallies were sparked by Zuma's decision to reshuffle his Cabinet, which saw Pravin Gordhan axed as finance minister.

In the days following his Cabinet reshuffle, three of the ANC's top six claimed there was no consultation with the party over the decision, with ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe claiming that the list of new ministers and their deputies was compiled elsewhere.

SA has also been downgraded to junk status by two credit ratings agencies since Zuma announced the changes, with some economists fearing that the country is headed for another downgrade.

The president has been dogged by allegations that his close associates, the Gupta family, have undue influence over state-owned enterprises and certain key decisions he has made, including the hiring and firing of members of the national executive.

The wave of protests comes on the back of a pending motion of no confidence debate against Zuma in the National Assembly, with opposition parties calling for ANC MPs to vote with their conscience, and not according to the party line.

WATCH:



Read more on:    apc  |  da  |  anc  |  cope  |  eff  |  jacob zuma  |  pretoria  |  national day of action  |  protests  |  politics

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