Protesters Demand Zuma Quit

Protesters Demand Zuma Quit

Violence broke out in Johannesburg as more than 30,000 people marched in South African cities to protest against President Jacob Zuma yesterday, demanding he quit after a cabinet reshuffle triggered the latest crisis of his presidency.

Nobel laureate and anti-apartheid leader Desmond Tutu, 85 and ailing, made a rare public appearance to support the protests.

"The crowd shouted slogans like: "Zuma must go!", Hands off South Africa, hands off!", "We're not for sale", and "Hamba tsotsi, hamba!" aimed at Zuma and the Gupta family, which is widely seen as the force behind Zuma looting state resources. He is too corrupt. "Real people are struggling", protester Vanessa Michael, 54, told AFP news agency.

The president also referred to "overt racist utterances and public displays that we saw during the marches last week".

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Thousands of South Africans have gathered in major cities to demonstrate against President Jacob Zuma.

"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 rescue South Africa from a slippery-slope", they said". Members of the influential ANC Youth League gathered in downtown Durban, singing "Awuleth'umshini wami", a song popularized by Zuma, which means "bring me my gun" and held placards supporting the president.

His removal of Gordhan unleashed a fresh bout of criticism, as many ordinary South Africans and worldwide investors saw the former minister as a bulwark against corruption.

The country has since been downgraded to junk status by two investment ratings agencies. Fitch's downgrade to BB+ from BB- on both foreign and local currency debt follows that of S&P Global Ratings which also cut South African foreign debt to "junk" status.

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Protesters were carrying South Africa's flag and placards calling for Zuma to resign.

The government appealed for calm and said it respects the right of South Africans to protest peacefully. The ruling ANC said its members won't vote against the president, whose decision to change the cabinet was criticized by three senior members of the party, including deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

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".

Demonstrators demanded the resignation of the scandal-tainted Zuma, who for now retains the support of a ruling party facing an internal revolt against the president. "It won't work that way".

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BRIAN ELLSWORTH , Reuters: This has been sort of the culmination of that, about two-and-a-half weeks of all these demonstrations. And in fact, on Monday, President Maduro appeared live on TV at a rally of a big government civil militia. "Alert, people.

Further demonstrations are planned on Wednesday ahead of a parliamentary motion of no confidence in the president on April 18.

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