Rubber bullets were fired in scattered clashes as tens of thousands of people joined demonstrations across the country calling for South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma to step down,
There were marches through the rainy centre of Johannesburg on Friday amidst a heavy police presence, even as a large protest also took place in front of parliament in Cape Town, and Smaller crowds of people protested on suburban street corners and bridges in the main cities and towns who raised banners reading “Zuma not my president” and “the power of the people is stronger than the people in power”.
The protests were triggered by a cabinet reshuffle last week in which widely respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan was sacked. The president’s reshuffling has revealed divisions within the country, and within the African National Congress; the party that led the liberation struggle and has ruled since 1994.
Zuma has been accused of filling posts in key institutions with loyalists, packing party committees with supporters, and has been named in hundreds of corruption charges, which he has denied.