- President Zuma sparked outrage when he replaced Finance Minister David van Rooyen just four days after his appointment
- Marches have been planned in different locations to coincide with his Day of Reconciliation address on Wednesday
- The ruling party, ANC, however continues to express confidence in the president
Permission has been granted for a #ZumaMustFall march in Johannesburg, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) said on Tuesday.
“Final arrangements will be done tomorrow [Wednesday] morning when organisers meet with representatives of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department events unit to finalise the route and exact time [of the march],” Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said.
The march would start in Braamfontein and end in Newtown Park.
Minnaar said the meeting between the JMPD and the organisers was expected to take place at 07:00.
President Jacob Zuma is facing a backlash after he announced last week that he was replacing Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene with ANC MP David ‘Des’ van Rooyen.
There was a public outcry resulting in calls for Zuma to be recalled over the move that saw the Rand plummet against major currencies and millions wiped off the JSE.
The rand’s value subsequently plunged to new lows against foreign currencies, including briefly touching R16 to the US dollar.
But four days after Zuma fired Nene, he then announced another move. This time he replaced Van Rooyen with former finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, the man he demoted from the position after the 2014 elections, and the Rand recovered somewhat.
This, however, did not change peoples’ sentiments that Zuma should be removed from office.
Several Facebook pages were created with tens of thousands of people from major cities across the country calling for peaceful marches on Wednesday.
Protest marches have been planned for Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, George, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Nelson Mandela Bay.
Event organiser for the group Unite against Corruption, Miles Giljam, said that unions, churches, NGOs and citizens will gather to speak out against a system of corruption that is undermining South African governance.
“This not just marching against one person, this is marching against the system of corruption that has taken our country. It is time to get up and say, not on my watch, not in my name,” Giljam said.
|Unite Against Corruption – JHB||16 December 2015||10:00||Nelson Mandela Bridge, Johannesburg|
|#ZumaMustFallMarchPE||16 December 2015||10:00||Govan Mbeki Avenue, Port Elizabeth|
|Unite Against Corruption – CT||16 December 2015||10:00||Cape Town Gardens|
|South Africa Must Rise||16 December 2015||12:00||“South Africa”|
|Nelson Mandela Bay||16 January 2016||12:00||The Donkin Reserve|
|March for Change – Democratic Alliance||27 January 2016||10:00||Centre of Johannesburg|
|#ZUMAMUSTFALLMARCH||1-2 February 2016||12:00 – 18:00||“South Africa” (Pretoria)|
In response to sharp criticisms of the reshuffles, the ANC on Monday said it welcomed President Jacob Zuma’s decision to bring back Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
“The African National Congress welcomes and supports the decision by President Jacob Zuma to appoint Comrade Pravin Gordhan as the Minister of Finance,” said ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa.
Kodwa said it showed Zuma had listened to South Africans and commentators, of whom many had voiced dissatisfaction with Van Rooyen’s appointment. In his statement on Gordhan’s reappointment, Zuma had said that he had, “received many representations to reconsider my decision”.
“President Zuma’s decision to appoint Comrade Gordhan therefore is an explicit demonstration of a responsive and accountable government,” said Kodwa.