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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

Police clash with protesters calling for president's resignation

17 April 2017

Foreign and local currency bonds were downgraded to the "junk" level, following a similar move from the S&P rating agency earlier this week.

"I am marching to get the ANC to take us seriously and respect our wishes by letting the president go", said one of the protestors to Reuters.
Mark Heywood, the leader of the Save South Africa movement that organized the mammoth march, said the turnout was a clear message to Zuma.

Another Zuma ally, Black Business Council president Danisa Baloyi, told the group: "Who really cares?"

The opposition party - the Democratic Alliance (DA) - were involved in organising the demonstrations and many supports took a stand against the president during the protests.

Netwerk24 photographer Felix Dlangamandla was on the scene when pro-Zuma Black First Land First representatives shouted at anti-Zuma protesters and police fired stun grenades to separate the two camps.

The Fitch agency cited political uncertainty as a factor in its decision to downgrade South Africa's credit rating to below investment grade, days after Standard & Poor's did the same.

The call for President Jacob Zuma to step down is far from over, with protests now expected to be escalated in the coming weeks. Zuma and the Gupta brothers deny wrongdoing.

Many South Africans don't have billions on the stock exchange.

Speaking to RNEWS, East London resident Nomonde Siswana, said that the call for president Zuma to step down is a good cause, and that if he continues being a President, the economy will suffer and the poor will remain poor.

The ANC also rejected calls for Zuma to quit, he said and said its members in parliament would vote to defeat a motion of no-confidence against Zuma on April 18. Some supporters of Zuma chanted the president's name.

On Friday, scores of camouflage-wearing members of MK, the former armed wing of the ANC, paraded at the party's headquarters in downtown Johannesburg in a show of loyalty to Zuma.

Some protesters carried signs reading "Fire Zuma" while others said they felt the ruling class were more concerned about enriching themselves than dealing with high unemployment, a slowing economy and stubborn racial inequality.

Capital Economics Africa economist John Ashbourne said in a note that although there was mounting opposition to Zuma "we think that the most likely outcome is still that Mr. Zuma will decide the timing of his own exit".

"Be courageous and comradely, confront a comrade if you have got problems with (a) comrade, don't use comrades who have died as a platform to perpetuate disunity", he said without mentioning any names.

"We are very concerned that people who are exercising their constitutionally enshrined rights are being treated as enemies", Gail Smith, a senior official of the Human Rights Commission, said. She wore a South African flag bandana.

Source:Lacanshire Independent News

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