Activist and South African Federation of Trade Unions leader Zwelinzima Vavi told crowds joining the “People’s March” that the election of President Jacob Zuma was a “tragedy” and a “fundamental error”.
He was addressing a crowd of more than 25 000 people at Tshwane’s Church Square, where civil society leaders, members of the clergy and civilians prepared to march to the Union Buildings.
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“The important question is: what is it that we must do to correct the mistake of 2007? We are here to fight a tyrant in the form of President Jacob Zuma,” Vavi said.
“And when you fight a tyrant, you mobilise everybody,” he added.
The eve of the march was filled with confusion about whether or not permission had been granted for the movement to take place. Acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane gave a briefing in Tshwane on Thursday evening where he declared the march to the Union Buildings illegal due to non-compliance from its organisers.
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His claims of the march’s illegality were, however, refuted by Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga. The attempt to prohibit the march was also blocked by the regional court in Pretoria which, in an urgent hearing, ruled in favour of the protest taking place.
Friday’s demonstration was led by Save South Africa and supported by the SACP.