Tens of thousands of protesters marched in South Africa to demand that President Jacob Zuma resign after he fired the finance minister and reshuffled the cabinet.
Marchers chanting “Zuma must go” in Pretoria walked to the Union Buildings, the official seat of government, while there were sporadic clashes between Zuma supporters and police in Johannesburg, eNCA television reported Friday.
Thousands of people faced riot police outside the chained gates of parliament in Cape Town.
Zuma’s decision to fire Pravin Gordhan as finance minister and make 19 other changes to his administration on 31 March drew widespread criticism, prompted S&P Global Ratings to downgrade the nation’s credit rating to junk and weakened the rand.
The protests were called by Save South Africa, which has been campaigning for better government, and are backed by the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, and civil rights groups.
A magistrates court on Thursday overturned a police ban on a planned “people’s march” to government headquarters in Pretoria. The presidency said it didn’t oppose the demonstrations.
Zuma, 74, will face a no-confidence motion in parliament on 18 April sponsored by opposition parties. The ruling ANC said its members won’t vote against the president, whose decision to change the cabinet was criticized by three senior members of the party, including deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Zuma, who’s due to step down as ANC leader in December and as the nation’s president in 2019, has survived a series of corruption scandals and presided over the party’s worst electoral performance since the end of apartheid in 1994 in municipal elections in August. — (c) 2017 Bloomberg LP
- Reported with assistance from Amogelang Mbatha