Nine South African opposition parties have announced the start of a series of protests against President Jacob Zuma on his birthday on Wednesday, April 12.
The decision of the parties follows last Friday’s protest organized by the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party that saw thousands of South Africans hit the streets nationwide calling for 75-year-old Zuma’s removal as president.
Leaders of the African Christian Democratic Party, African Independent Congress, African People’s Convention, Congress of the People, Agang SA, Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters, Inkatha Freedom Party and the United Democratic Movement announced at a press conference on Monday in Tshwane to hold the “National Day of Action” protest on Wednesday.
They said in a joint statement that they want to rescue South Africa from Zuma due to reasons including the Nkandla scandal, Gupta family controversy and the recent cabinet reshuffle that sparked the protests.
“We plan to engage in various activities – such as the “National Day of Action – over the coming days, weeks and months to show common cause i.e. to rescue South Africa from a slippery-slope,” they said.
“We will have, and plan to, engage civil society formations, as well as our colleagues in other political parties to mobilise support for the people’s “National Day of Action” at the Union Buildings in Pretoria,” they added.
The called on South Africans and also Zuma’s African National Congress (ANC) party to join the protest “to exert enough pressure that President Zuma will do the honourable thing and resign”.
They however warned the ANC party that has pledged support for Zuma that “if they fail to hear the loud cries of South Africans to remove their “junk status” President, the people must unite in dictating their own destiny and punish” them “in the 2019 National and Provincial Elections”.
Zuma on Monday rather condemned alleged racism at last Friday’s protest and called South Africans to “fight racism whenever it rears its ugly head.”
The DA has already tabled a motion of no-confidence against Zuma in parliament and it will be debated on April 18.