Govt thanks citizens for peaceful marches

Supporters of President Jacob Zuma. (Tina Hsu, News24)
Supporters of President Jacob Zuma. (Tina Hsu, News24)

Cape Town – The South African government has thanked citizens who protested and expressed their views “within the bounds of the law”, its spokesperson said on Tuesday evening. 

Thousands of South Africans took to the streets in Durban, Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town on Tuesday morning against the vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma. 

A pro-Zuma march was also organised by ANC supporters outside the National Assembly. 

Read: #SecretBallot fails, but ANC MPs break rank

This active citizenry demonstrated by South Africans affirms the country's strong and maturing democracy, government spokesperson Phumla Williams said in a statement. 

“Today’s developments in Parliament and in various cities countrywide prove that our democracy remains robust, strong and vibrant,” Williams said.

She said authorities were however concerned over citizens who infringed on the rights of others by blocking roads or forcing the closure of schools.

“The isolated acts of violence reported are condemned in the strongest terms.”

Also read: This is the end of the ANC – Maimane

Some 198 MPs voted against a motion of no confidence in Zuma on Tuesday evening, 177 MPs voted in favour of the motion and 9 MPs abstained.

Around 30 ANC MPs are believed to have voted against the party line and in favour of the motion.

In the statement, Williams said South Africans had more in common “than that which divides us”.

“Let us work with each other to build a stronger nation that encourages dialogue and strives for greater social cohesion.”

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