South Africans take part in #AntiZumaMarches

Protesters hold placards as they join a mass protest calling for President Jacob Zuma to step down, 7 April 2017, in Johannesburg. President Zuma is facing growing backlash against his recent government reshuffle and axing of the finance minister. Picture: Michel Bega

Protesters hold placards as they join a mass protest calling for President Jacob Zuma to step down, 7 April 2017, in Johannesburg. President Zuma is facing growing backlash against his recent government reshuffle and axing of the finance minister. Picture: Michel Bega

Get all the latest videos, pictures and updates from the nationwide protests.

Many citizens across the country took part in demonstrations calling for President Jacob Zuma to be removed from power on Friday.

The marches organised by civil society groups, political parties and religious groups following the president’s highly criticised Cabinet reshuffle last week, which saw 10 ministers sacked from the national executive.

On Monday, S&P Global downgraded the country’s sovereign credit rating to junk status following the controversial Cabinet reshuffle.

To add more woes to the local economy, Fitch Ratings on Friday also announced its decision to downgrade South Africa to junk status.

#AntiZumaMarches in pictures:

DA members protest in Rustenburg, call for Zuma to quit

– ANA

The Democratic Alliance held pickets at major intersections in Rustenburg on Friday, as part of the call for President Jacob Zuma to resign as head of the country.

The protest were held in Phokeng at the Phokeng Mall intersection, Boitekong Mall at the R510 intersection, Waterfall Mall and in Rustenburg inner city.

Party members held poster calling for President Jacob Zuma to resigned. “Fire Zuma” read one poster.

Some business closed down, a notice on their door read: “We are closed due to the political situation in South Africa”. This notice left customers confused as to whether the shut down was only for a day or the businesses had closed down.

Despite the call to shut down the country in a push for Zuma to step down, ordinary people were busy with their daily engagement, workers reported for work and shoppers fill the platinum city supermarkets.

Some did not know what the protest was all about.

“Why are people protesting?” asked a woman identifying herself Prudence.

“I am in town for my weekly shopping, I heard about the march and protest but, was never told why should I join.”

A mineworker giving his name as Andile wanted to know if the organisers of the protest would pay him if he joined the march.

“I could not just stay away from work. Will they pay me if I did not go to work. If Zuma goes tomorrow, what will be the next step, who is going to replace him?” he asked.

He said the call for Zuma to resigned was not clearly explained to ordinary citizen.

“What will happened if Zuma did not resign, are we going to eject him out of office what is the next plan after the protest.”

Roads remain closed around Luthuli House

– ANA

Police were not taking chances on Friday afternoon and kept streets around ANC head quarters, Luthuli House, cordoned off to prevent African National Congress supporters from moving to nearby Newtown, where an anti-Zuma march by the DA, urging demanding President Jacob Zuma to step down, took place earlier.

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Picture: ANA

ANC supporters moved up and down Pixley Ka Seme Street, the address of Luthuli House, and chanted pro-Zuma slogans after lunchtime on Friday. They were later joined by a group of Congress of South African Students (COSAS) members.

Earlier, a Democratic Alliance supporter, clad in blue party colours was attacked as he tried to make his way through the CBD. He was walking through from the DA march in Newtown, and was met with insults and punches. Two men clad in ANC t-shirts rescued him.

The DA march ended by midday, after which supporters dispersed immediately. Police manned the Newtown precinct, making sure that the marchers from the two parties remained separated and do not clash. Pockets of ANC supporters who tried to cross onto Newtown were met with rubber bullets.

The Johannesburg leg of Friday’s march, although initially billed as an anti-Zuma protest by the DA, saw ANC supporters, including members of the MK Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) taking over the CBD. Leaders of the DA had no choice but to change their tact again and avoid the CBD, fearing possible violence.

The MKMVA formed a combat line around the governing party’s head office, daring any DA member to approach the precinct. Other ANC supporters gathered at nearby Beyers Naude Square, in anticipation of DA supporters who had initially planned to march from the square to Newtown.

An ANC supporter said it was obvious they had “taught the DA supporters a lesson” on Friday.

“You see, we did not have to do anything drastic, but just to show up and protect our house from people who think we are whims, and will just standby and watch. This is a second lesson they must take seriously after their first attempt to march here last year. [DA leader] Mmusi Maimane has seen what the ANC is made of…he must know we will never back down. Ever,” said 25-year-old Martin Kgobe, who said he arrived in the CBD from Tembisa at 6am.

Picture: ANA

Picture: ANA

Anti-Zuma march in Durban. Video: supplied

Earlier 

Thousands fill the streets of Cape Town to demand Zuma step down

– ANA

Thousands of protesters dispersed peacefully from the Cape Town CBD on Friday, but not before making their voices heard. The protesters made up of people from all walks of life, different organisations and political formations, and even die-hard ANC supporters called on President Jacob Zuma to step down, or be removed from office.

People took to the streets and marched from Keizersgracht, the popular meeting place for Cape Town marches, to gates of Parliament where they were met by thousands more.

The number of South African flags waved in the air rivalled that of patriots attending a Bafana Bafana soccer game. Many also created interesting posters – from just a few words scribbled on a page, to a cardboard cut out of a first reading “Phuma Zuma”.

“Hands off Treasury,” read a placard held up by a protester in Plein Street, referring to Zuma’s axing of Pravin Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas at the helm of the finance ministry last week in a Cabinet reshuffle that has firmed calls for him to quit.

“We want a president who cares about Africans and Zuma does not,” said Khayalethu Tyalasha from Maitland, who wore a black t-shirt printed with the slogan “Zuma must fall”.

Protesters from the Economic Freedom Fighters held up a placard bearing the face of Atul Gupta, with the words below “Not my president”.

One of the men carrying the placard, EFF member Tlhabanelo Diholo, said: “We are here to say no to kleptocracy and constitutional delinquency.”

Terence Quma from the Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) said he was frustrated by seeing people live in poverty while the president and his friends rake in millions.

“Zuma must do the country a favour by stepping down. We cannot be captured and be sold as a country to a foreign family from India. South Africa belongs to South Africans,” he said.

A handful of pro-Zuma supporters, wearing ANC t-shirts made their way to Parliament, chanting Zuma must rise, but their chants were drowned out by the thousands who shouted “Zuma must go”.

Sibusiso Feni, who recently moved to Cape Town from the Eastern Cape, said he loves his ANC and would remain a ardent supporter of the movement, but said he was frustrated by the Zuma administration.

“After every five years, a president must step down. Zuma is ruling with his home, he forgets about the nation. He must rule people, the nation… not like he rules his wife. We are not his wife we are the people and I love ANC, I will always [be] ANC but I’m sick and tired of Zuma. Zuma must step down,” said Feni.

Two hours after the protests started, people started dispersing peacefully in different directions. But they carried on chanting, sending shouts of “Zuma must fall” reverberating through the city.

A policeman was overheard telling a colleague it was the biggest march in the city since 1999.

Parliament will reconvene on April 18 to debate a motion of no confidence in Zuma

Photo: ANA.

Photo: ANA.

Photo: ANA.A

Photo: ANA.

Photo: ANA.A

Photo: ANA.

Photo: ANA.A

Photo: ANA.

Photo: ANA

Photo: ANA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Streets of Cape Town filled with anti-Zuma protestors

Thousands of anti-Zuma protesters gathered in the streets of Cape Town around noon on Friday and made their way towards Parliament.

They thronged through Kaizergracht and Adderley streets, holding up placards decrying the abuse of state resources and demanding President Jacob Zuma make way for another leader.

“We want a president who cares about Africans and Zuma does not,” said Khayalethu Tyalasha from Maitland, who wore a black T-shirt printed with the slogan, “Zuma must fall”.

In Kaizergracht, two protesters from the Economic Freedom Fighters held up a placard bearing the face of Atul Gupta, with the words below: “Not my president.”

One of the men carrying the placard, EFF member Tlhabanelo Diholo, said: “We are here to say no to kleptocracy and constitutional delinquency.”

 

#AntiZumaMarches in pictures:

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Picture: Virginia Keppler

Picture: Virginia Keppler

Two men understood to be EFF supporters poured water on a woman journalist from the Gupta-owned news channel ANN7, according to our reporter on the ground, Virginia Keppler.

The EFF supporters were heard earlier saying they did not want the Guptas at the #AntiZumaMarches.

Picture: Virginia Keppler

Picture: Virginia Keppler

Picture: Virginia Keppler

Picture: Virginia Keppler

Marchers have just arrived at the Union buildings angry about barbed wires.When they tried to remove it, police stepped in. Video: Virginia Keppler.

– Virginia Keppler

Police had to step in and stop a group of marchers from tearing down the barbed wire that they had installed early this morning at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, reports The Citizen.

The group said they had rights and said the grounds were meant to be open and free for all to move wherever they wanted to.

Some of them started dragging the wire, and officials and organisers asked them to stop.

They then pelted the police with empty bottles and dirt. The group said they had pliers to cut the barbed wire.

Members of the Freedom Front were standing right in front the stage with their banners held high.

Thousands of marchers have gathered at the Union Buildings, with many more on their way from communities around Pretoria.

The mood, which was initially filled with anger the minute the protesters saw the barbed wire, has calmed down, and marchers have started singing struggle songs.

A police helicopter has been flying over the Union Buildings since early this morning, keeping an eye from above.

There is no sign from the ANC Youth League at the march in Pretoria.

Save SA marchers in the Pretoria CBD make their way to the Union Buildings. Video: Nhlawulo Chauke

#AntiZumaMarches in pictures:

Picture: Nhlawulo Chauke

Picture: Nhlawulo Chauke

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Picture: Nhlawulo Chauke

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Picture: Nhlawulo Chauke

#AntiZumaMarches on Boeing Road in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, were encouraging people on Friday morning to hoot if they agree with them. Video: Neil McCartney

Cars hoot in support of the #AntiZumaMarches as they pass under a group of marchers on Boeing road in Bedfordview, Johannesburg. Video: Neil McCartney

Earlier 

– Eric Naki

Four people carrying a Save SA banner were nearly assaulted by an angry crowd of ANC supporters at Beyers Naude Square in near the ANC headquarters, Luthuli House.

They were saved from imminent danger by a group of MKMVA members before the public order policing member and metro police arrived and took the four into a waiting police van and whisked them away.

They walked in the middle of the square that was filled to capacity with ANC supporters. Nobody was injured in the incident.

Johannesburg Metro Police and police seen in the Joburg CBD. Video: Refilwe Modise

DA marchers on their way to Mary Fitzgerald Square. Video: Michel Bega

Shop owners in the Johannesburg CBD were seen closing their shops early. Video: Refilwe Modise

Residents of Edenvale march in a #ZumaMustFall protest. Video: Neil McCartney

 

 

– Eric Naki

A group of youth presumed to be ANCYL members just arrived marching outside Luthuli House.

More youths and ANC members being bused in and offloaded at Beyers Naude Square in central Johannbesburg joining the crowd sitting on the square. Members of MK still surrounding the ANC head office building and dancing to freedom songs while in a guard of honour format. Other MK ex-combatants are standing strategically at street corners apparently awaiting for any eventuality.

Riot police are on standby outside the party office. So far the situation is peaceful but noisy as different groups of ANC supporters sing and dance in the streets and on the Beyers Naude Square, named after the late Afrikaner anti-apartheid and human rights campaigner and theologian, Dr Beyers Naude.

The Johannesburg City itself is almost empty as people appeared to have responded to the call to march and protest in a united call for President Jacob Zuma to step down.

Many businesses including shops are closed in the CBD. Streets in nearby usually bustling Mayfair and Fordsburgs commercial hubs nearby are empty.

But one thing is for sure, no anti-Zuma protester would dare to come near Luthuli House, otherwise they would be met with imminent violence by the crowd, some of whom are armed with golf clubs, knobkerries and sjamboks.

#AntiZumaMarches in pictures:

Residents of Edenvale march in a #ZumaMustFall protest.

Residents of Edenvale march in a #ZumaMustFall protest

Ballito joins #FreedomFriday. Picture: North Coast Courier

Ballito joins #FreedomFriday. Picture: North Coast Courier

Anti-Zuma protest in Sunninghill, Johannesburg. Picture: Fourways Review

Anti-Zuma protest in Sunninghill, Johannesburg. Picture: Fourways Review

Joyce Jabane and Sadheer Maharaj on corner of Jan Smuts and Buckingham Lane. Picture: Rosebank Killarney Gazette

Joyce Jabane and Sadheer Maharaj on corner of Jan Smuts and Buckingham Lane. Picture: Rosebank Killarney Gazette

MKMVA Members

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Knysna residents congregating at Memorial Square. Picture: Knysna-Plett Herald

Knysna residents congregating at Memorial Square. Picture: Knysna-Plett Herald

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Picture: Yadhana Jadoo

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Picture: Yadhana Jadoo

At the Union Buildings, where a few people were starting to drip in while the rest of the marchers are on their way. Video: Virginia Keppler

Earlier 

– Amanda Watson

Picture: Amanda Watson

Picture: Amanda Watson

People are still streaming into the Westgate transport hub near the Rea Vaya stop on Anderson Street, Johannesburg, where the DA will be starting its march calling for the firing of President Jacob Zuma.

At Luthuli House, a large number of Umkhonto we Sizwe veterans have also gathered, ostensibly to “protect” the ANC headquarters.

Security forces have a strong presence, and the route is expected to pass within two blocks of Luthuli House. Emotions have been running high in the country since Zuma’s midnight Cabinet reshuffle that saw former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mceibisi Jonas, ousted from their posts.

“We are marching because we don’t like Zuma, we want to fire him. We are sick of his corruption. We are sick of Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, he must go,” said Audrey Hlongwane, who is taking part in the protest. Andrew Nemathandani believed South Africa was not being run very well.

“He must step down so the DA can win the vote in 2019,” said Nemathandani.

The march is expected to start at about 10am and will end at Mary Fitzgerald Square in town.

Earlier

– ANA

Members of Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) descended outside Luthuli House in central Johannesburg early on Friday to defend the the African National Congress (ANC) ahead of the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) “March for Change” protest.

At least 200 MKMVA members in their military fatigue were seen singing struggle songs and marching up and down outside the ANC headquarters from as early as 6am after being bussed in with six busses, some from as far as Zululand.

The MKMVA in KwaZulu-Natal has been vocal against the planned DA march in Johannesburg, saying that it would be deploying 600 of its members to guard Luthuli House on Friday when anti-Zuma marches are expected to take place.

This comes as DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, is set to lead a “March for Change” through the streets of the Johannesburg city centre calling for President Jacob Zuma to step down following his recent Cabinet reshuffle.

On Tuesday – after threats of violence – the DA changed its plan to march to Luthuli House. The DA will instead march to Mary Fitzgerald Square in Johannesburg.

The DA’s march coincides with several others planned around the country in support of mounting calls for Zuma to step down. The calls have become louder after he fired Pravin Gordhan as finance minister.

The move prompted international ratings agency S&P Global to downgrade the country’s rating to junk status.

Save SA, which has been camping outside National Treasury at Church Square in Pretoria since Gordhan was axed, will lead a march to the Union Buildings.

Save SA has called for citizens to bring the country to a standstill on Friday in a bid to have Zuma removed as President.

The Presidency said it respected the right of South Africans to protest peacefully as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic and was not opposed to the march by Save SA to the Union Buildings.

ANC alliance partner, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu), which has called on President Jacob Zuma to quit, on Thursday warned its members not to join the anti-Zuma march to the Union Buildings organised by Save SA.

The other alliance partner’- the South African Communist Party (SACP), which has also called on Zuma to quit, withdrew its participation in the Pretoria march on Friday, citing a false report from the city as the reason, and said it would hold another one in two weeks.

In Durban, the High Court the DA an urgent interdict preventing eThekwini Mayor, Zandile Gumede, from instructing law enforcement agencies to arrest protesters at Friday’s protest in the city after threatening that people who march against Zuma would be arrested because that would be an act of treason.

eThekwini Municipality also granted permission to the ANC Youth League to march in the City Centre in defence of Zuma.

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