PRETORIA, April 12 (ANA) – South African opposition parties must build on Wednesday’s “National Day of Action” protest and sync their efforts to oust President Jacob Zuma, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema told thousands of supporters.
It is unclear what he means with oust, as outside of elections, the only way a president can be removed from his office is through a vote of no confidence, which has happened many times already and been defeated, or if the party in power recalls their candidate for the top job. However, the African National Congress (ANC) has made it clear it would not support an opposition call for the President to be recalled. ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said at a post National Working Committee meeting press conference that no general would allow the enemy to lead its soldiers, a clear statement that ANC MPs would not be pressured into voting with the opposition.
“Ours is the interest of South Africa, and not petty politics. When the State of South Africa is threatened we put aside our differences. We unite for the purpose of winning back our beautiful country. We must salute these leaders [of different opposition parties],” Malema said as he addressed thousands of activists protesting against Zuma at the Union Buildings.
Malema said the protest on Wednesday, dubbed the National Day of Action, was not a once-off event.
“This is a rolling mass action. We are coming to Free State, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West and Limpopo. We are going to all big cities in South Africa. We are going to KwaZulu Natal, because everyone in South Africa is tired of Zuma. We do not want to leave any space unoccupied,” said Malema.
He said the downgrading of the South African economy by international rating agencies spelled bad news for the future of the nation.
“They are misleading you, saying this is an issue of white people. It’s not an issue of white people alone. It’s an issue that is going to hit the pockets of the poorest man in the streets. It’s an issue that is going to affect the poorest of the poor in the shacks. It’s an issue that is going to affect the lowest paid workers. This is your issue,” said Malema.
The multiparty protest was organised by the Democratic Alliance (DA), the United Democratic Movement (UDM), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP), the Congress of the People (Cope), the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the African People’s Convention (APC).
Earlier, DA national spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said opposition parties had resolved to put their differences aside for the sake of South Africa.
“We are really honoured to be here today with other opposition parties. We have all put our differences aside because we all care about the future of South Africa. So as we march towards the Union Buildings, please may we all be disciplined and let’s be clear in our message. Zuma must fall,” she chanted.
APC leader Themba Godi said the thousands of people were at the march because they are fed up with Zuma’s rule.
– African News Agency (ANA)