Opposition parties declare Wednesday a National Day of Action against Zuma

APRIL 10, 2017
Opposition parties declare Wednesday a National Day of Action against Zuma

Perhaps realising that removing President Jacob Zuma through a Parliamentary Motion of No Confidence now seems more and more unlikely, opposition parties on Monday announced at a joint press briefing that they will now embark on National Day of Action to the Union Buildings on Wednesday to force the President to resign.  

Besides other civic organisations, the National Day of Action is being organised by the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), the African Independent Congress (AIC), the African People's Convention (APC), Agang SA, the Congress of the People (COPE), the Democratic Alliance (DA), the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the United Democratic Movement (UDM).

President Zuma has come under fire for the axing of former Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, his Deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, and other Ministers about two weeks ago.

Thousands of people are expected to converge at Church Square in Pretoria, and begin a march that will end at the Union Buildings.

The parties said that the march has been granted permission by the authorities.

"Opposition is united in putting South Africa and its citizens first," said UDM leader, Bantu Holomisa, reading a joing statement from the parties.

"We shall never abandon our responsiblity to put South Africa first.

"We want to make every effort to rescue South Africa from a one-man-made quagmire."

He said that Zuma was actively undermining Chapter 9 institutions.

Holomisa added that the recent two credit downgrades to junk status make South Africa an unsafe investment destination and the effects will be felt by all.

"We gear action forcing the ruling partyy to recall their deployee, or Zuma can do the honourable thing and resign."

Motion of no confidence

The opposition parties are also gearing up for a debate on a Motion of No Confidence in Jacob Zuma, which is now scheduled for the 18th of April at the National Assembly.

However, the ANC is expected again to stand behind Zuma when the motion is debated after ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe, backtracked from his public criticism of Zuma's recent cabinet reshuffle and said that no ANC Member of Parliament will vote in support of the motion.

Also speaking at the media briefing, EFF Leader, Julius Malema said that they would have preffered a situation where the motion would be by secret ballot.

"Under an environment of intimidation [in Parliament], people must be protected and voting secretly will help this," he said.

"The people didn't vote for Zuma. The people voted for the ANC and they deployed Zuma. They can recall him.

"Speaker should have used her discretion and provided for a secret ballot. We are right behind the UDM on this issue."

Malema said that they will keep applying pressure for Zuma to leave and might make the protests a weekly thing.

"If the ANC still keep him - it's actually good for us [opposition] becuase they will lose in 2019."

Thousands marched last week

On Friday, many residents took to the streets demanding that President Zuma resigns. Two major protests happened in Port Elizabeth and East London - with smaller ones taking place in towns like Qeenstown, under the banner of the Save South Africa movement.

Highlights from Port Elizabeth Save South Africa marches:

Highlights from East London Save South Africa marches: