WRAP - Calls for a Zuma-free SA on Freedom Day

2017-04-27 15:29
Freedom Day event. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

Freedom Day event. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

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Coalition governments are the way forward - Maimane

2017-04-27 14:52

Scores of supporters flocked on the Caledonian stadium in Pretoria on Freedom Day, in a mass rally against President Jacob Zuma.WATCH

Johannesburg - Freedom Day on Thursday was marked by the jokes and jeering of a defiant President Jacob Zuma, as various detractors continued a chorus of calls for his political demise.

Dubbing those protesting against him as people “who spent lots of money just to insult a certain party and individual instead of celebrating Freedom Day,” Zuma enjoyed his time addressing the crowd at Manguzi, in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

“I’ve heard through the news that they’ve spent money on insulting a certain party and an individual the whole day. We’re happy here; we are celebrating while they are throwing insults, oh my God,” said Zuma before he burst into laughter.

Zuma also advised those who wish to one day govern the country to stop criticising but tell people their views and win them over by the way they conduct themselves instead of acting like “a mentally disturbed person”.

A freedom movement rally of various opposition political leaders, as well as civil society and religious organisations at the Caledonian stadium in Tshwane, promised those gathered that a Zuma-free future was possible.

“Change is coming…our ‘94 is coming in 2019,” Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane told the crowd, promising that a coalition government would be put in place.

Congress of the People head Mosiuoa Lekota declared Zuma supporters as “enemies of the people”. United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa told supporters that in 2019, the ANC would be “punished”, while African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe reiterated the point saying it was definitely “time up” for Zuma.

Nelson Mandela’s legacy was also evoked at the rally, with the late president’s granddaughter, Ndileka Mandela, suggesting that if her grandfather was alive, he would have said that if the ANC did to people what the apartheid government did to them, then they must do to the ANC what the people did to the apartheid government.

“We are today calling the government to account,” she told the crowd of a few thousand.

The statesman's former assistant, Zelda La Grange, also expressed support for the movement against Zuma, saying the current president had not followed the plan put in place by Madiba and others.

“We want…a president that respects himself enough to step down when his people asked him to.”

Freedom Day commemorates the country's first post-apartheid elections held in 1994. This year signals 23 years of South Africa's democracy. 

Other Freedom Day events around the country included a Save South Africa campaign meeting Port Elizabeth, an ANC Limpopo rally in Polokwane and a DA event in  Nqutu, Kwazulu-Natal.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  politics

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