Pretoria marchers in high spirits, despite gloomy weather

2017-04-12 11:11

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.


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

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.