Thousands march to the Union Building

Thousands of anti-Zuma protesters can be seen demonstrating during a protest held by all opposition parties against South African President Jacob Zuma in Pretoria. Demonstrators marched from Church Square to the office of the President the Union Buildings demanding that he step down and resign. Protests against President Zuma have been increasing ever since he fired the Minister of Finance which led to South African economy being downgraded by rating agencies. Picture: IHSAAN HAFFEJEE/GroundUp

South African march to the Union Buildings calling for President Zuma to step down.

Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa


Speaking at the anti Zuma march in Pretoria on the 7th of April 2017, Sipho Pityana, a Convener of the Save SA, a movement concerned with the leadership of President Jacob Zuma said the African National Congress (ANC) is an organization of great policies and programs but unfortunately this is derailed by factional battles peddled by greedy and corrupt individuals.

“Once people elevate factions to a level where they become a follower of so and so, you get into a serious trouble. We must be able to stand up to everybody when they are wrong irrespective of their positions. Those of us who belong to the ANC believes in the great values and tradition of this movement not in individuals,” he said.

Zwelinzima Vavi waving the flag, picture by Ramatamo Wa Matamong

The march united thousands of South Africans across all colour lines, from all walks of life, rich and poor who came together to voice their dissatisfaction against their president who through his recent cabinet changes has plunged the country into political and economic turmoil. They felt it’s time for him to step down. Other major towns in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town also staged their demonstrations on the same call.While Zuma supporters defended him that he was only exercising his powers when he reshuffled the cabinet, many believe he removed the Finance Minister and his Deputy from their positions in an attempt to grab power over the treasury.

“He is entitled to reshuffle his cabinet but that is not the issue. The issue here is the need to get to the nuclear energy deal program through the treasury, which has the potential to enrich the individuals by hundreds and millions of rands. Jacob Zuma and his criminals around him wants to put someone in the treasury who will be willing to do their bidding,” said Mark Heywood of Section 27. He fears the president won’t even abide by the many legal battles he is facing.

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“The problem about the president is that he doesn’t respect the rule of law. On top of corruption charges he is facing, there is a Public Protector’s report, which was released months ago, and he has done nothing about it. What if one day he say he doesn’t trust these courts because they are white monopoly capital?” he asked.

Pityana said the reshuffling puzzled even the key leadership of the ANC and the Alliance partners, a clear demonstration of deep seated divisions within the ruling party, hence their public pronouncement on the issue.  ” In 2012 Mangaung elective conference the ANC took a resolution that in the event of the president exercising his prerogative as prescribed in the constitution. He must take into account the views of the leadership core of the movement, this didn’t happen,” he said and added that after the Fitch Rating Agency the same as Standard and Poor’s downgraded the country to junk status. The poor people of South Africa will be severely affected, as they don’t have a safety net like the rich and the middle class.

“We will never stop marching until he feels it. We want the millions of South Africans to come and join us. We can’t address the challenges of unemployment, casualisation of workers by labour brokers, the crisis in education and health care as long we have this kind of the president as the head of the state. He must go,” said Zwelinzima Vavi of the newly formed South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU)

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About Ramatamo wa Matamong 15 Articles
Also known by his pen name as Ramatamo Wa Matamong, born in the Free State Province, he is an award winning community journalist in the Alexandra township who has covered numerous and extensive topical issues in the township ranging from sports, politics, arts, service delivery protests, strikes, health and economics.