Johannesburg, April 7 (IANS) Thousands of South Africans took to the streets across the country on Friday to protest against President Jacob Zuma and demanding his resignation.
The most populous demonstration took place in the capital, Pretoria, where the civic collective “Save South Africa” organised a march from the treasury to the presidential seat of the Union Buildings, Efe news reported.
In Johannesburg, the Democratic Alliance main opposition party called its supporters to gather in a downtown square to protest against Jacob Zuma.
Cape Town, Durban and other cities also experienced similar protests.
Friday’s mass protests came a week after the sacking of former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who triggered a tide of reactions against Zuma and led the credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s to downgrade South Africa’s rating to junk status.
Gordhan, a person of Indian origin, has become a symbol of the fight against corruption for refusing to approve several projects that would allegedly benefit businessmen close to Zuma.
Gordhan’s sacking provoked a deep fracture in the governmental alliance led by Zuma’s African National Congress, as its partners, the Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions, have also called for the president’s departure.
Meanwhile, the opposition has redoubled its efforts to overthrow Zuma, and filed a no-confidence motion against the country’s president to be debated by members of parliament on April 18.
Zuma’s ruling party, the African National Congress, has an absolute majority in parliament, but the opposition expects many of the ruling MPs to break the party discipline and vote conscientiously.