As pressure continues to mount for President Jacob Zuma to step down, the president on Tuesday reportedly failed to pitch for rally held to support him in Germiston.
Opposition parties and civil society have been calling for Zuma’s head following last week’s Cabinet reshuffle and the downgrade by Standard and Poor’s Global.
The ratings agency downgraded South Africa to sub-investment grade or “junk status” on Monday. S&P cited the recent reshuffle as the reason for the downgrade, saying “the executive changes initiated by President Zuma have put at risk fiscal and growth outcomes”.
According to Timeslive, Zuma was supposed to attend a rally at the Germiston Stadium in Ekurhuleni where he was set to address MK Veterans and ANCYL supporters.
— Jacaranda News (@JacaNews) April 4, 2017
Instead Zuma was locked in meetings at Luthuli House with the ANC Working Committee.
Earlier on, Zuma defended his Cabinet reshuffle, saying young leaders were needed in government.
Addressing the media at the launch of a new locally manufactured locomotive at Transnet, Zuma also thanked axed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan for the ‘smooth transition’ in handing over the reins to Malusi Gigaba.
The rally, which saw Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane address a 300-strong crowd, was reportedly held to rally support for the embattled president, who has faced a barrage of criticism following his announcement of a reshuffle in the early hours of Friday.
Just wondering who Nomvula Mokonyane refers to as these hyenas who are covered in sheeps skin. #ANCYL
— Bulelani Phillip (@BulelaniPhillip) April 4, 2017
— Iman Rappetti (@imanrappetti) April 4, 2017
Other speakers at the event reportedly included Executive Mayor of Ekurhuleni Mzwandile Masina as well as other youth league leaders.