SA marches: Here's why

2017-04-09 06:00

South Africans took to the streets in their thousands on Friday to call for President Jacob Zuma to leave office. 

In big marches organised by Save SA and the DA, and in smaller neighbourhood protests hastily organised by residents’ associations and community groups, citizens came out to make their voices heard. On Friday night, Defence Minister Nosivive Mapisa-Nqakula said police had estimated that the crowds at big marches around the country – including Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth – totalled 60 000. 

But other reports suggest that more than 100 000 people turned out, some even outside the Gupta family home in Saxonwold in Johannesburg. They tell us why they did it 

DURBAN: Sunita Mego (left) with friend Noni Makhanya

I am here because I toyi-toyied for the change we needed in 1994 and I see the same need to do so today.

I was a student activist and a member of the ANC Youth League. It is very disheartening to see the corruption and the lack of care for the population.

It is a tragedy that something that was so good could be turned into something so bad. It’s particularly tragic that nobody in the ANC is standing up.

That’s why I’m here. Enough is enough.

And I question why the ANC is trying to racialise the protest.

My children are the reason I decided to act. My husband runs his own business and the pressure on him has increased.

Zuma is responsible for the uncertainty in our country. He makes rash decisions and does things that cause instability. The economy is hurting. People have stopped spending money as they don’t know what will happen.

Most of us whites don’t have anywhere else to go. We just want to live, like everybody else.

What has happened now has brought different people together. This is not the end of things but the beginning of something.

PRETORIA: Mahlame Mohale (17) from Ivory Park

I want to have a bright future, so Zuma must not sell our country to the Guptas. At our school, JB Matabane Secondary School, we do not have a feeding scheme. He is not providing for us. Our school has nothing. Our school doesn’t have chairs. We sit on top of the tables. We don’t have buildings.

PRETORIA: Jonathan Selesnick (17) from Johannesburg

Zuma has taken everything from us. He has diminished this country to nothing. It affects me personally because it doesn’t secure my future in this country. It doesn’t make it safe for me to be in this country any more.

The whole university system is screwed up because of Zuma, simply because of the legal mess in which he is implicated and the things he has done that have repercussions on the students.

This has resulted in us not feeling safe and not being able to study in our country freely. It’s limited who can study and what we can do to study.

PRETORIA: Faiza Majiet and son Fuzail Essop (7)

I am doing this for the sake of my son’s future. We need to get Zuma out now while there is still something left of this country.

This is not what Nelson Mandela wanted or struggled for, so that’s why I am here: to give South Africa back to the people of South Africa.

I want a future in which my son will have a job when he finishes his studies, not one where he has to go overseas to look for work.

I am marching so he can stay here and work for his people. That is what I want for my son’s future.

PRETORIA: Nina Veldtman (17) from Johannesburg

I want to have a bright future and I want to stay in this country. Zuma has taken away my security in terms of knowing I’ll be living in a good place here in the future.

If Zuma continues to do what he’s doing and the country continues to be in this state, I don’t know if I, or my siblings, will be able to get a job or go to university.

I am concerned about securing my future. Neither I nor the people around me will be able to experience the same things and have the privilege of living a good life if Zuma continues like this.

PRETORIA: Given Masenya from Pretoria East

As a youth, I am struggling to find work. I am studying civil engineering and I’m not qualified to do anything because potential employers all need, like, five years of experience. Where am I going to get that five years of experience if I don’t get a chance to prove myself in this field and get that experience?

JOHANNESBURG: Vaughn van der Merwe

It’s so early into the downgrade, but already I have debt … We’ve got staff and we have to let them go. This makes me want to cry.

We want a leadership that looks after its people, that uplifts all of us.

Since Nelson Mandela left the presidency, our politicians have been trying to divide us. I think the ANC in particular is playing the race card. All races need to come together.

I feel that what I’ve got out of this march is the need for new leadership in this country.


Zuma must leave. It’s too much. I have applied for a house since 1996. I still don’t have a house, even today. I’ve got children in Alexandra and we stay in a single room. My children are getting bigger and I cannot extend my home as it’s somebody else’s property.

That’s why I see that Zuma is not improving our lives. I’ve seen this side is better. I’ve come to the better side. Our children want jobs. There’s no jobs any more. Let’s try another thing as Zuma is not helping. We want help, so we had better go to the other side.

PORT ELIZABETH: Yoliswa Masabalala

I am a mother of two boys and work as a driver for a courier company in Port Elizabeth.

I also have a music degree.

Zuma has taken away my dignity because I have been unable to get a job and am forced to do work performed by unqualified people.

He has reduced my hopes for getting a job because under his leadership, all those who want us to pay for jobs will not be made to account.

Zuma is corrupt and a dream shatterer.

PORT ELIZABETH: Columbus Mataka

My grant was paid, when everybody had said grants would not be paid. I have a house today because of my President Jacob Zuma. Anybody who thinks they can remove Zuma outside of an ANC conference must think again. I would never support a march that ANC regional leadership never told me to go to. I only support the mandate of my leadership.

A president is deployed by a winning party. Let’s wait for a conference to sit, and the people’s will will be taken forward.


The marches are not about Save SA. This organisation does not support the Fees Must Fall movement. It does not support black matters. It’s actually about saving the system of white people, the system of black elites, the system of just exploiting black people. Is that why it denies us free education, so that we can also be smart to have our own capital system?

Who is sponsoring these types of organisations? If they were really interested in South Africa, they would have supported Fees Must Fall.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  zuma must fall protests

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