South African opposition marks Zuma's birthday with protest

Posted April 13, 2017

Zuma's sacking of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in a cabinet reshuffle on March 31 has outraged allies and opponents alike, undermined his authority and caused rifts in the ANC, which has governed South Africa since the end of apartheid. The tools of the worldwide financial system are coming to their rescue, adding pressure to force the government to change course, to keep our leaders in line with the dictates of global capital.

Tens of thousands, many of them supporters of the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) attended protests on Friday in major cities in the biggest show of discontent with Mr Zuma.

Following nationwide demonstrations against his leadership and the involvement of the Gupta family in political decisions, Zuma fought back with claims that the marches against him were racist and that black people were depicted as baboons.

Marchers were - and are still - calling for Zuma to step down.

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Meanwhile, Save SA has slammed Zuma saying that him playing the race card demonstrates that he's a desperate man.

"We have sadly not yet succeeded in building the non-racial society that we envisaged", Zuma said at the Chris Hani Wreath Laying Ceremony and handover of the Chris Hani heritage site in Boksburg, Gauteng Province.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said the march was not a numbers game but was meant to deliver a message.

There's a unsafe binary logic that has crept into the discourse on South Africa's credit downgrades.

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The ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, which has a majority in parliament, has said it will vote against the motion, due on April 18.

The rand has tumbled more than 11 percent since March 27, when Zuma ordered Gordhan to return home from overseas talks with investors, days before firing him. Markets reacted quickly: South Africa's currency plummeted, and the ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded the government's bonds to junk status. He said the Constitutional Court had clarified the role of MPs in its Nkandla judgment, in which it criticised parliament for not rapping Zuma over the knuckles and failing to implement the findings of the public protector.

The DA, the ultra-left Economic Freedom Fighters, the UDM and other smaller parties plan a new protest march dubbed "National Day of Action" in the capital on Wednesday close to Zuma's offices, aimed at drumming up support for the no-confidence vote.

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