South Africans have been warned to brace for yet another showdown when opposition parties march to the Union Buildings on Wednesday to demand that President Jacob Zuma step down
South Africans have been warned to brace for yet another showdown when opposition parties march to the Union Buildings on Wednesday to demand that President Jacob Zuma step down.
This is the latest bid by opposition parties to force Zuma out of office.
A motion of no confidence in Zuma, brought by opposition parties, will also be debated in the National Assembly next week.
The march will take place on Zuma’s birthday. The ANC Youth League has announced that it will host a party in Kliptown, Soweto, to celebrate the president’s birthday.
Opposition parties – the EFF, DA, Cope, IFP, ACDP, APC and UDM – cited Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle and flouting of the constitution as reasons for the motion.
The parties have rolled out their election machinery with street posters calling on people to join the march. They also collectively took full page adverts in Sunday papers as part of mobilising for support.
EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said yesterday the march, dubbed the “National Day of Action” will be big. “It is part of rolling mass action,” Ndlozi said.
Last week Save SA and other civil society organisations joined forces in an anti-Zuma march.
According to the Sunday Times, Zuma’s son Edward said he had contacted metro and national police to ask them to deny permission for the marches in Johannesburg as he had been briefed there was going to be war.
National police spokeswoman Colonel Athlenda Mathe said they would not be drawn into the matter.
The City of Tshwane is cheduled to hold a meeting with the organisers of the march today.
Tshwane metro police spokesman, Superintendent Isaac Mahamba, said: “We are still going to have a meeting with the organisers. We will make pronouncements after the meeting.”
Mahamba said the metro police had received an application but indicated that further details will be available after the meeting with the organisers.
Ndlozi warned that should permission to march be not granted they would challenge the decision in court.
“We want to warn them though: no one, not even judges, can ever deny our human right to freedom of assembly,” he said.
DA Gauteng leader John Moodey said 10000 people were expected to take part in the march.
Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni said the march was meant to keep pressure on Zuma to step down.
However, it has the potential to unify the ANC.
“The view from the ANC might be ‘let us close ranks because there is an attack against the president from external enemies’,” Fikeni said.