Protesters Gather in South Africa for Second Anti-Zuma March
By Amogelang Mbatha
Hundreds of people started gathering in South Africa’s capital to call for President Jacob Zuma to resign, the second such demonstration in less than a week.
At least 10,000 people are expected to take part in the march in Pretoria led by civil-rights groups and seven opposition parties including the Economic Freedom Fighters and the Democratic Alliance, Johannesburg-based broadcaster eNCA reported, citing the police. The so-called National Day of Action protests are scheduled to coincide with Zuma’s 75th birthday.
The president’s decision to fire Pravin Gordhan as finance minister and make 19 other changes to his administration on March 31 drew widespread criticism, prompted S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings Ltd. to downgrade the nation’s international credit rating to junk and weakened the rand.
Tens of thousands of people marched on April 7 in major cities including Johannesburg, the economic hub, Pretoria and Cape Town to demand that Zuma quit. The president criticized the protests on Monday, saying that some demonstrators were inspired by racism.
Zuma, who’s due to step down as leader of the ruling African National Congress in December and whose term as the nation’s president ends in 2019, has survived a series of corruption scandals and presided over the party’s worst electoral performance since the end of apartheid in 1994 in municipal elections in August.