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Published: Sun, April 09, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

South Africans protest Zuma as country downgraded to junk

South Africans protest Zuma as country downgraded to junk

Thousands marched in major South African cities to protest against Mr. Zuma, demanding he quit after a cabinet reshuffle triggered the latest crisis of his presidency.

In Johannesburg, police fired rubber bullets at supporters of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) who had gathered outside the party's headquarters to show their backing for Zuma, Reuters reported.

Protests are planned Friday against the scandal-tainted president after Zuma last week sparked a national uproar when he dismissed the finance minister, who was widely regarded as an effective steward of the economy.

Gordhan, a person of Indian origin, has become a symbol of the fight against corruption for refusing to approve several projects that would allegedly benefit businessmen close to Zuma.

In response to the protests, ANC presidential contender Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said in a tweet; "This is what they are protecting. hence some of us are not part of this rubbish".

Mokoena said the party was marching to say "Zuma must go".

Two groups of protesters also scuffled outside the Gupta family mansion in Saxonwold, in Johannesburg's wealthy Sandton business district and the Police presence was beefed up outside the residence to keep anti-Zuma and pro-Zuma protesters apart.

"We must move forward with the South Africa of our dreams - not South Africa that will enrich a few cronies", Solly Mapaila, of the South African Communist Party, told the rally in Pretoria. According to Whip Mthembu, the ANC's chief, the ruling party will side with Jacob Zuma. Pro-Zuma marchers also arrived in Parliament to counter anti-Zuma protests. "Deliver us from evil and Zuma must go".

But supporters of Mr Zuma also held demonstrations around the country.

In the statement, they touch on the axing of former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene - who they believe was removed because of differing views regarding the country's expensive nuclear programme.

"We want a leadership that uplifts all the people of South Africa regardless of their colour or race".

The party says the economic state of the country is far worse than what it used to be before Zuma took office.

Earlier this week, the Standard & Poor's agency downgraded the South African sovereign debt to "junk" status after Zuma's dramatic ministerial shake-up. "I was in Cape Town which probably saw the biggest march in the country today - there were over one hundred thousand people on the streets in the city center".

Regarding an earlier incident in which four white supporters of Save SA campaign were almost assaulted by ANC supporters on Beyers Naude Square, Maphatsoe said the fact that the MK members saved the four from the attack indicated that his members were there on a peaceful mission.

Bheka Ntuli from Durban said it was time South Africa sought a commited and passionate president who would listen to the masses.

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