South African protests call on President Zuma to stand down over corruption scandals


HARARE, APR 07, (DNA) – Thousands of people have joined rallies in South Africa demanding the resignation of President Zuma after his sacking of a popular minister stoked simmering anger over government corruption and a struggling economy. Some protesters carried signs reading ‘Fire Zuma’ while others said they felt the ruling class were more concerned about enriching themselves than dealing with high unemployment, a slowing economy and stubborn racial inequality.

President Zuma has been tainted by repeated corruption scandals since he took power in 2009. He is also facing internal criticism in his ANC party after it slipped to its lowest ever vote share of 55% in last year’s local elections.

His removal last week of popular finance minister Pravin Gordhan, seen by many as an anti-corruption figure, has unleashed a fresh bout of criticism.

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Some of those on the streets said they are now backing the opposition Democratic Alliance party led by Mmusi Maimane.

Among those seen at the protests was Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu, aged 85, who was pictured with his wife near their retirement home in the Cape Town area.

The protests passed mostly peacefully, though police fired rubber bullets to disperse a group of around 100 ruling party members who were approaching protesters.=DNA