‘Zuma must go’: Thousands march against state capture, corruption

 Cosatu members, ANC and the SACP marching against state capture and corruption in Johannesburg. PHOTO: TEBOGO LETSIE
Cosatu members, ANC and the SACP marching against state capture and corruption in Johannesburg. PHOTO: TEBOGO LETSIE

Workers across the country downed tools, marched to key points in various cities, and demanded an end to corruption and state capture.

All nine provinces in the country engaged in the protected strike action today, which saw thousands of Cosatu supporters stream into public spaces, with many carrying placards with the recurring theme: [Jacob] Zuma must go.

At each location, memorandums were handed over, with calls for government to end state capture, create more jobs within the employment sector and bring an end to labour brokers.

The Gupta family has seen significant influence and power over government employees and institutions, with the latest scandal involving auditing firm KPMG, a private company, and its role in state capture.

Many of the protestors pointed fingers at the Guptas today, calling for an end to their power.

Thousands of supporters gathered outside Cosatu House in Braamfontein this morning, many of them singing songs in support of deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa as the next president of the country.

Among the marchers were ANC and SACP supporters.

General secretary of the South African Communist Party, Blade Nzimande, addressed supporters outside FNB Bank City in Johannesburg, where he spoke of the National Prosecuting Authority’s lack of urgency in dealing with corruption.

In the North West, about 20 000 protestors gathered outside Premier Supra Mahumapelo’s office, where at 1.30pm they were still waiting for him to arrive so that they could hand over the memorandum.

Among the demands was a call for a judicial inquiry into state capture and an investigation into the Gupta wedding that was held at the Sun City resort in the province.

“The workers are refusing to hand over the memorandum to anyone except the premier. We are calling for corruption across all departments including municipalities to be eradicated. All these things happened under the leadership of President Jacob Zuma, so the workers are reiterating the call for him to step down,” Job Dliso, Cosatu North West secretary told City Press.

In the Northern Cape however, Premier Sylvia Lucas who returned from China after leading a delegation to the 2017 Africa local industrial cooperation forum, received the memorandum by Cosatu members, and pledged her support to answer to the demands within seven days.

Cosatu provincial secretary for the Northern Cape, Anele Gxoyiya, said that 2500 people took part in the strike action, and they were “please with the turnout”.

“We were only expecting around 1000 people, so we were pleased to see more people turn up,” Gxoyiya said.

“It’s something that we appreciate with the premier’s willingness to respond to us. She has also undertaken to take up some of the demands that are not within the scope of her portfolio to national government, so that is something we are happy with,” he told City Press.

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