Zuma, Malema, anti-Zuma campaigners out in force this weekend

2016-04-16 07:49

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Johannesburg - Politics will take centre-stage this weekend as the ruling party launches its election manifesto in the Eastern Cape battleground of Port Elizabeth; while its political foes stage events in Soweto and Mamelodi.

In the wake of the Constitutional Court's judgment and calls for President Jacob Zuma to step down, ANC leaders are gathering in Nelson Mandela Bay ahead of the party's local government manifesto launch in a bid to mobilise supporters to attend.

The ANC's top six officials have been visiting communities the entire week.

Zuma was expected to launch the party's manifesto at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

During a media briefing in the city, secretary general Gwede Mantashe told reporters the party was expecting about 100 000 people at the stadium.

This year's local government elections will see the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters fighting to take the country's metros, including Nelson Mandela Bay, from the ANC.

It is yet to be seen what impact the Constitutional Court's judgment that Zuma acted inconsistently with the Constitution will have on the ANC's support in these elections.

Calls for the ANC to take action against Zuma or for him to resign have increased since the court judgment, even from within the ruling party.

Escalate calls

A week after Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng handed down judgment on the Nkandla matter on March 31, a group of top activists and senior ANC members marched to the court calling for Zuma to step down.

Among them were former deputy ANC secretary general Cheryl Carolus, former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils, former justice Zac Yacoob, Zwelinzima Vavi, Ronald Lamola and others who had come together as members of civic society.

Following on from that, civic and faith-based organizations as well as social movements and activists were expected to gather on Saturday at the University of Johannesburg's Soweto campus under the banner 'People's Consultative Assembly Democracy'.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss how they can escalate their call for Zuma to step down.

EFF leader Julius Malema, who has been attending community meetings throughout Soweto this week, was expected to address supporters at a Solomon Mahlangu Memorial Rally at the University of Pretoria's Mamelodi campus on Saturday, ahead of the official launch of the party's manifesto later this month.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane marched to the court on Friday alongside the party's Gauteng leaders as well as Western Cape leader and Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. Thousands of DA members had taken part in the march, the party claimed.

On Sunday, Maimane is due to launch his party's electoral campaign for Cape Town alongside De Lille.

- Are you registered to vote? For registration details, live election results and more, download our Elections App for Android or iOS now!

Read more on:    anc  |  gwede mantashe  |  jacob zuma  |  port elizabeth  |  local elections 2016  |  politics

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