Published: Thu, April 13, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

Zuma celebrates as second mass march against him takes place

The march to Union Buildings, the official seat of government, was organised by a coalition of opposition parties following nationwide rallies against Zuma last week. Zuma, who is in his second five-year term after becoming president in 2009, has become a flashpoint for concerns about government corruption and mismanagement in one of Africa's most powerful economies.

The march coincides with Zuma's 75th birthday. 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.

Besides other civic organisations, the National Day of Action is being organised by the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), the African Independent Congress (AIC), the African People's Convention (APC), Agang SA, the Congress of the People (COPE), the Democratic Alliance (DA), the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the United Democratic Movement (UDM).

Opposition parties are ramping up pressure on the ANC to act against President Jacob Zuma, uniting in a campaign calling for his removal.

EFF secretary general Godrich Gardee said party leader Julius Malema would address the protestors at the Union Buildings and that all members of society are welcome to attend. "Zuma must leave office, and the soonest he does that, the better, because this country must recover economically".

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The number of people in work increased only modestly by 39,000 although the employment rate of 74.6 percent was a joint record high.

Some top ruling party leaders openly criticized the decision. S&P Global Ratings cut the country's credit assessment to junk on April 3, citing policy uncertainty, and Fitch ratings followed suit on Friday.

Deputy president of the African Christian Democratic Party Wayne Thring said his party would be bussing in members and supporters from across Gauteng.

It says while it supports calls for Zuma to step down, it will never side with the opposition.

Zuma spent 10 years in the same Robben Island prison where Nelson Mandela was held, but his anti-apartheid record has been overshadowed by scandals, including the spending of millions of dollars in state funds on his private home. Opponents described the remark was an affront to legitimate protest.

The vote is scheduled for next Tuesday but may be delayed due to a legal tussle over whether it should be a secret ballot for lawmakers. I saw posters indicating that South Africans did not vote for the Gupta brothers.

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