Thousands marched through major South African cities Friday demanding the resignation of President Jacob Zuma after his sacking of the popular finance minister fuelled widespread public anger.
Zuma, who came to power in 2009, has been battered by a series of corruption scandals during his time in office, while the country has suffered record unemployment, slowing growth and stubborn racial inequality.
His removal of finance minister Pravin Gordhan last week unleashed a fresh bout of criticism, as Gordhan was seen by many ordinary South Africans as a bulwark against corruption.
Several thousand people attended the Johannesburg protest organised by the opposition Democratic Alliance party, which hopes to make gains in 2019 elections under its leader Mmusi Maimane, 36.
“We want Zuma to fall. He is too corrupt. Real people are struggling. I voted for Nelson Mandela, but Maimane has a lot of integrity and he’s young,” protester Vanessa Michael, 54, from East Rand, told AFP.
The ANC party led the decades-long struggle against apartheid, and carried Nelson Mandela to power in the 1994 elections that ended white-minority rule.
But the once all-powerful party has lost popularity in recent years and slipped to 55 percent of the vote in last year’s local elections — its worst ever result.
Source: The Guardian