Citizen Reporter
7 minute read
12 Apr 2017
3:00 pm

Protest march blow by blow: Malema says ‘illiterate’ Zuma won’t read a memorandum

Citizen Reporter

For the latest updates, pictures and videos follow The Citizen’s live report.

EFF national chairperson Dali Mpofu says police estimate about 100, 000 people turned out for #NationalDayofAction. Picture: Rorisang Kgosana

Anti-Zuma marches organised by opposition parties, dubbed the National Day of Action, took place on Wednesday at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

The political parties – Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters, Inkatha Freedom Party, Congress of the People, African Christian Democratic Party, African People’s Convention and United Democratic Movement – are calling on President Jacob Zuma to step down following his Cabinet reshuffle and two credit ratings downgrades in the wake of the changes to the executive.


Speaking at the Union Buildings on Wednesday at the National Day of Action calling for President Jacob Zuma to step down, EFF leader Julius Malema clarified that the fight against Zuma was also a fight against the ANC, because Zuma was “the creation of the ANC”.

“They are to be blamed for this mess.”

He told ANC voters they had contributed to destroying the country. “But it’s not too late to join us to say ‘not in my name’.”

He had earlier said that presenting a memorandum to Zuma was pointless because Zuma was “illiterate” and would not read it because “this man will never read anything from us”.

Malema said Zuma had never had any relationship with books and giving him anything on paper would be a waste of that paper and ink.

He reminded the gathered crowd that they were going to continue the marches in every province in the country and all big cities.

Malema said race was not important and they were gathered to defend “the future of our children”. He said that if Zuma considered those marching against him to be racists, then he would be proud to be a racist.

He said that with Zuma’s current stewardship of the economy, the price of a loaf of bread would be R80 by 2019 when “we take over the government”. So South Africa could not wait for the opposition to take government in 2019.

“You are going to blame us because of problems created by this man. We must prevent it now. This is not just a useless exercise. You came out in your numbers.

“We want these numbers again when we debate a motion of no confidence in parliament. Our people must come out and say ‘enough is enough’.”

Malema cautioned that revolution was not a birthday party, but would take time, therefore they needed to be persistent.

He slammed Gwede Mantashe for changing his tune on Zuma, but thanked Kgalema Motlanthe and Thabo Mbeki for joining the call asking for Zuma to step down. He also called ANC MPs cowards, but encouraged them to take the opportunity to do the right thing and vote against Zuma.

“I worked with all of them. They are cowards.” But he said General Bantu Holomisa was “making arrangements” for a secret vote so that the cowards could vote Zuma out.

He then referenced the allegation from Minister Lindiwe Sisulu that her life had been threatened and that she had even met the man who’d been sent to kill her. She had not even openly spoken out against Zuma and her life was put in danger – what about those who would speak openly, Malema asked.

The EFF leader added that he was not scared of Zuma’s security forces and government did not have a “monopoly on violence”.

However, he asked his supporters to go home peacefully and continue to mobilise peacefully.

“Please let’s go back peacefully. Let us protect each other.”


Over 100k people at Union Buildings

At least a hundred thousand South Africans gathered at the Union Building when opposition parties united to march against President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday.

Leading the National Day of Action march through the capital city, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Commander In Chief Julius Malema took to the stage to remind protesters about the purpose of the march.
“We are united here to give Zuma his birthday present,” he said to a cheering crowd.
United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa referred to a message he received from a concerned citizen regarding apologies from top ANC leaders on their opinion of Zuma’s contraversial reshuffle of cabinet.
“The citizen asked if the top leaders had to apologise – that means the country, the Constitional Court, the Public Protector, Cosatu and rating agencies were wrong and Zuma was right. It means the people here are also deemed to be wrong.”
Earlier this week, Zuma said last week’s national shutdown and march against his leadership showed that racism continued to exist in the country.
But Holomisa said: “We are here united against him. He says this is racism, but do you see any racism here?”
Democratic Alliance spokesperson Phumzile Van Damme added: “They tried to divide us but they failed . They said we are racist. But looking at this, we see all South Africans of all races have gathered here.”
Gauteng DA leader John Moodey meanwhile, challenged the Gauteng ANC to demand MPs vote out Zuma. “ANC MPs must put SA first. That is their challenge.
To the provincial leadership of the ANC, you have publicly stated Zuma must go. I am challenging you to demand of your MPs to vote with opposition parties and let’s get rid of him,” said Moodey.


Marchers from diverse political parties have arrived at the seat of power in Pretoria:


Meanwhile, marchers begin to arrive at the Union Buildings:


WATCH: Save SA has joined opposition parties in their #NationalDayofAction. Listen to what the coalition of civil society organisations has to say. Video: Nhlawulo chauke


Scores of Democratic Alliance (DA) supporters are beginning to arrive at Church Square to join other opposition parties. Picture: acques Nelles

Scores of Democratic Alliance (DA) supporters are beginning to arrive at Church Square in Pretoria to join other opposition parties gathered. Picture: Jacques Nelles

#NationalDayofAction in pictures:


Tracy Madia, 79, is being helped along but she says it’s important to march. She’s from Cope’s Women League #NationalDayofAction

#NationalDayofAction in videos:


The barbed wire is up again and there is a much stronger police presence this time at the Union Buildings in the capital city on the National Day of Action called by opposition parties.


Security tightened at the Union Buildings as Church Square fills up

According to our reporter on the ground, Nhlawulo chauke, the man in the video was caught attempting to break into a shop with a hammer in the Pretoria CBD.

WATCH: Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota says it’s time for Zuma to go. Video: Rorisang Kgosana


WATCH: The deputy president of the ACDP, Wayne Thring, says he is happy about the turnout for today’s march. Video: Nhlawulo chauke

Catch live coverage of the protests happening at the Union Buildings today below:

WATCH: Protesters gather for National Day of Action march


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