Pretoria #ZumaMustFall protesters disappointed by turnout

2015-12-16 13:51
(Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

(Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

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WATCH: Cape Town protesters condemn Zuma for 'crazy decisions'

2015-12-16 12:45

Hundreds of people gathered at Parliament and the Company Gardens to join in the #ZumaMustFall march today.WATCH

Pretoria - As the dust settled and people returned to their homes following the #ZumaMustFall marches throughout the country, protesters in Pretoria said they needed to emulate university students.

Thousands of people marched to the Union Buildings to demand the removal of President of Jacob Zuma, but many expressed disappointed at the poor turnout.

Georgina Roberts said they needed to learn from the #FeesMustFall movement.

"People who are angry need to stay angry and they must come here to speak up. The students got the response that they wanted by coming together and unifying for a common cause. We need to do that as well or people need to speak through their votes," she said.

"It would have been better if there were more people, but I think apathy is a serious problem. Everybody thinks it’s someone else’s job to stand up and speak up."

During the #FeesMustFall protests, thousands of students from across all sectors of life disrupted learning at universities and protested against fee increases. The protesters marched to the Union Buildings, where students burnt mobile toilets and refused to leave until they were told there wouldn’t be increases.

That day was characterised by clashes with police and rubber bullets and stun grenades were used to disperse the students from the lawns. A number of police vehicles were also set alight on the day. 

South Africans have been up in arms and have questioned Zuma's leadership, following his decision to sack Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and replace him with the virtually unknown Des van Rooyen. The move sent markets tumbling and the rand plummeting.

(Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

'I think we needed more people'

Four days later, Van Rooyen was replaced with former finance minister Pravin Gordhan.

As many people have seen the marches throughout the country as a success, others believed the numbers could have been bigger. Roberts said she was disappointed with the turnout in Pretoria.

"I think we needed to be more vocal to make an impact. They [government ] looked like they were really prepared, they had riot police, fire engines, cops and none of it was used. I think we needed more people," she said.

Another marcher, Martin Mokoena, said although people had left for the day to continue with their regular business, the struggle was not over.

"We will continue with the marches until Zuma is removed. He has disgraced our country and has destroyed our economy. Zuma must fall."

There was a heavy police presence at the Union Buildings on Wednesday, with at least 10 police cars inside and many more parked outside. The march proceeded peacefully.

(Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  pretoria  |  protests  |  politics

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