Thursday, 6 April 2017

#PeoplesMarch - A National Roundup Of Events

President Jacob Zuma may have survived the ANC fires, but the nation is not that forgiving, and several marches have been planned across the country on Friday calling for the president to step down.

The protests follow a cabinet reshuffle and the removal of former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas and the appointment of several new ministers and deputy ministers.

Organisations that have pledged support for the protest action are Save South Africa, Corruption Watch, Treatment Action Campaign, Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse, Lawyers for Human Rights, Section27, Johannesburg Against Injustice and the National Religious Leaders’ Council.

Several marches across South Africa have been planned on Friday calling for President Jacob Zuma to step down. Picture: Oupa Mokoena

According to the organisers, the march has also been endorsed by the South African University Staff Association, the South African Food Sovereignty Campaign, and Co-operative and Policy Alternative Centre.

In Pretoria various civil organisations under the banner #SaveSouthAfrica have organised a march from Church Square to the Union Buildings at noon, via Madiba Street.
#PeoplesMarch - A National Roundup Of Events
Themba Masango, national convener of the #SaveSouthAfrica campaign, said the core message of the People’s March was “Zuma must go, and must go immediately”.

He urged South Africans to come out in their numbers to join the march irrespective of their political affiliations.

“If you are a South African and you are tired of the status quo, just come out and join the march. We are tired and we can’t keep working this way. Let’s get our democracy working,” he said.

Social justice activist Mark Heywood said the march would be peaceful and legal.

The SACP will stage another march from Marabastad at 10am to the National Treasury offices in the city centre.

There it will hand over its memorandum of demands. The SACP members will then join the People’s March.

The campaigners against the Zuma leadership were in discussion with universities and expected their support.

Elias Mogoru, leader of the Forum for Service Delivery, said the Zuma’s government was dysfunctional and more pressure would be piled on him to resign even after tomorrow’s march.

He brushed aside claims that the march represented the interests of the elites, saying the organisation was started by the poorest of the poor.

Kgothatso Ramautswa, leader of the Progressive Students Movement, said the organisation observed that Zuma’s administration had failed.

David Lewis, executive director of Corruption Watch, said: “We don’t enter the political terrain lightly. However, we face a political, economic and social crisis of an unprecedented scale and depth. At the root of this is corruption manifesting particularly in the capture of the Presidency."

“While the removal of Zuma will not, by any means, solve all our problems, it has become clear that none can be solved as long as he remains head of state.”

The DA march will take place in Joburg from Westgate Transport Hub to Mary Fitzgerald Square and back.

More than 10 000 people are due to attend. It will be taking place from 10am to 1pm and traffic will be diverted.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said they had amended the route and would no longer march to Luthuli House or Beyers Naude Square as originally planned due to threats of violence.

Mindful of the fact that various organisations and individuals are busy with certain activities in order to indicate their unhappiness at the current state of affairs in our country we got together to try and guide people in respect of their choices.

SA1st Forum have agreed to collaborate with SaveSA, CASAC, Ndifuna Ukwazi; Right to Know; S27; Reclaim the City; TAC; Social Justice Coalition; faith organisations, among others, on the following activities:

According to the Forum, on Thursday at 12pm, there will be a 'holding hands' picket from outside the gates of Parliament down Plein Street, up Adderley and Wale Streets until St. George's Cathedral.

At 2pm, a memorial service for the late Ahmed Kathrada will be held at St. George's Cathedral where Pravin Gordhan will be the keynote speaker.

At about 17:00, there will be a set-up of Vukani Mzansi tent camp to conduct a 48 hour picket.

There will also be a cultural programme that will last until Saturday morning between St. George's Cathedral and the Slave Lodge museum.

On Friday, there will be a human chain along key main roads into the Cape Town CBD at 10am.

These roads include the Main road from Simonstown, Voortrekker Rd from Bellville, West coast road into Marine Parade Drive and along Jakes Gerwel Drive down Klipfontein road.

All these human chains will run into the Cape Town CBD.

At 12pm, there will be a Civil Society march that will take place from Keizersgracht Street to the gates of Parliament.

People are advised to wear white or something with the South African flag on it. South African flags may be brought and people may make their own posters.

The Durban CBD on Friday as authorities brace themselves for potential violence as marches against and for Zuma are staged.

Both the SAPS and metro police said they had upped their reinforcements.

“Security has been beefed-up. Operations have been planned with police officers from all the SAPS units to monitor the situation on the day. A large number of police officers will be deployed at the identified hotspots,” said SAPS provincial spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Superintendent Sibonelo Mchunu of metro police, who said his department had also “upped reinforcements”.

On Wednesday the DA announced that its march would start at the Old Durban Drive Inn site, proceed along the beachfront promenade and end at the amphitheatre on the beachfront.

This week the ANC Youth League warned that those marching against Zuma would be met “pound for pound” on the streets.

On the same day, an organisation calling itself the Black Empowerment Foundation said it had organised a march in support of the government.

Ryan Bettridge, who is the executive member of the foundation, said they would march to the Durban City Hall.

Bettridge said the foundation was a non-profit organisation which wanted to ensure that the economy was unlocked for the benefit of all South Africans.

He said his organisation supported the government’s passion for radical economic transformation.

In a WhatsApp message circulated on Wednesday, the foundation called on the public to join its marches at major centres.

“Let’s stop and fight in defence of what our government has gained over the years. Let us gather in our numbers and show them who the country really belongs to.”

DA leader Zwakele Mncwango said the DA-led march was for all South Africans and not only for party members.

Mncwango said he was not concerned that there were pro-Zuma marches that might take place on the same day.

“Everyone has a right to exercise their right to march as long as they have been granted permission for that march.”

The National Union of Metalworkers said it would not be participating in any marches.

“This is a fight between two factions with similar intentions. It is a fight between white monopoly capital and the emerging capitalists led by the Guptas."

“Both factions are not interested in serving the working class and therefore we will not be part of their battles,” said Mbuso Ngubane, provincial secretary of Numsa. The Right2Know campaign said no protest action had been planned for KwaZulu-Natal. Pretoria News, The Mercury and IOL