Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Culture | By Julio Duncan

Tens of thousands march against Zuma across South Africa

Tens of thousands march against Zuma across South Africa

Fitch's downgrade to BB+ from BB- on both foreign and local currency debt follows that of S&P Global Ratings which also cut South African foreign debt to "junk" status.

JOHANNESBURG, April 7 (Reuters) - Thousands of marchers are due to protest in major South African cities against President Jacob Zuma on Friday, demanding he quit after a cabinet reshuffle triggered the latest crisis of his presidency.

Zuma fired Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who pushed for budget restraint and improved management at state companies, in a cabinet reshuffle on March 31, igniting South Africa's worst political crisis in nearly a decade and sparking calls from top officials for him to resign.

It also said the unsettled political situation is likely to weaken "standards of governance and public finances".

Protesters began marches in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and other big metropolitan areas to push for the resignation of the scandal-tainted Zuma, who for now retains the support of a ruling party facing an internal revolt against the president.

The ANC called for peaceful marches, saying it had received reports of "people seeking to take up arms in the name of the ANC".

Speaking himself, however, at the inauguration of a former minister's tombstone, Zuma told colleagues not to use such events "to fight our political battles".

Last year, the South Africa's Constitutional Court ruled that President Zuma had illegally enriched himself and had broken the oath of office, but his party ANC saved him at the last hour.

"But we have already revised our GDP growth forecast for the next two years downwards (from 1.2% and 2% to 1% and 1.7% in 2017 and 2018 respectively), reflecting South Africa's new realities".

"This is about all members of the National Assembly irrespective of party, uniting to save our country from President Zuma who is raping our country for personal gain".

BBC reports, that police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters during one of the demonstrations in Johannesburg.

Pictures shared on social media on Friday showed large crowds assembling in Church Square in Pretoria, despite confusion over whether demonstrations in the capital are permitted by law.

Listening to 702 on my way there, a few callers said that they opposed Zuma's actions and wanted him to be removed, but felt that the white Democratic Alliance supporters could rather protest without them. According to Whip Mthembu, the ANC's chief, the ruling party will side with Jacob Zuma. On 18 April 2017thousands of people will gather outside Parliament when MP's debate a vote of No Confidence in Zuma, the people will not get exhausted until Zuma is no more in that office.

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