Last week’s marches were racist, says embattled president

President Jacob Zuma on Monday described last week’s protests demanding that he resign as racist.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators, angered by years of corruption scandals, record unemployment and slowing economic growth under Zuma’s rule, marched through cities on Friday.

Zuma’s recent sacking of finance minister Pravin Gordhan unleashed a fresh bout of public frustration, as well as unprecedented criticism from senior ANC figures, including Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The largely peaceful protests in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town attracted a diverse mix of South Africans, but Zuma railed against those who participated.

“The marches that took place last week demonstrated that racism is real and exists in our country,” he said.

“Many placards and posters displayed beliefs that we thought had been buried … with some posters depicting black people as baboons.”

The president gave no further details about the alleged placards and posters or where they had been seen.

The protest in Johannesburg was organised by the Democratic Alliance, which some ANC supporters accuse of harbouring white racists.

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

Zuma has easily survived previous such votes against him.

The president was speaking at an annual memorial service for anti-apartheid hero Chris Hani, who was shot dead by a white supremacist in 1993.

Agence France Presse
Agence France Presse works from worldwide. AFP Photo's official Twitter account. Tweeting news and features from Agence France-Presse's global photo network Agence France Presse has over 120540 followers on Twitter.
Advertisting

R80-million: The cost of evacuating South Africans from Wuhan in...

The government is expected to evacuate citizens from Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak originated

Primedia CEO Essack leaves following internal battles

Omar Essack leaves the 702 and 94.7 owners after a protracted standoff with the board

‘We’re satisfied with SA’s land reform policy’— US Ambassador

Top US official is lobbying multinational firms to invest in South Africa

Hosni Mubarak is dead, but the Egypt he built is...

Despite the efforts of the Arab Spring, Egypt is still led by a military dictatorship made in Mubarak’s image

Press Releases

Tourism can push Africa onto a new path – minister

The continent is fast becoming a dynamic sought-after tourist destination

South Africa’s education system is broken and unequal, and must be fixed without further delay

The Amnesty International report found that the South African government continues to miss its own education upgrading targets

Business travel industry generates billions

Meetings Africa is ready to take advantage of this lucrative opportunity

Conferences connect people to ideas

The World Expo and Meetings Africa are all about stimulating innovation – and income

SAB Zenzele Kabili B-BBEE share scheme

New scheme to be launched following the biggest B-BBEE FMCG payout in South Africa’s history

Digging deep

Automation is unstoppable, but if we're strategic about its implementation, it presents major opportunities

TFSAs are the gymnasts of the retirement savings world

The idea is to get South Africans to save, but it's best to do your research first to find out if a TFSA is really suited to your needs

Achieving the litmus test of social relevance

The HSS Awards honours scholarly works based on their social relevance and contribution to the humanities and social sciences