NEWS

Zuma Used Race In His Fightback Campaign At Chris Hani's Memorial

Zuma called the protest against him racist and sidelined his enemies on Monday.

11/04/2017 07:40 SAST | Updated 11/04/2017 11:49 SAST
Sumaya Hisham / Reuters
Demonstrators take part in a protest calling for the removal of South Africa's President Jacob Zuma in Cape Town, South Africa April 7, 2017.

President Jacob Zuma launched a "fight back" campaign on Monday, at a wreath-laying ceremony commemorating the death of SACP general secretary Chris Hani, according to reports.

Zuma labelled the protests calling for him to step down last week as racist, and his detractors, the SACP, were reportedly sidelined.

The SACP called on Zuma to step down after he reshuffled the cabinet and fired the minister of finance, Pravin Gordhan, and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas.

According to Business Day, the SACP was sidelined at the event, and the event was billed as a government one, and organised by Zuma ally, Ekurhuleni executive mayor Mzwandile Masina.

SACP spokesman Alex Mashilo told Business Day that the party was also sidelined at the Chris Hani memorial lecture on Monday night, which was delivered by new finance minister Malusi Gigaba.

The paper reported that the wreath-laying ceremony was amended at the last minute to ensure that Zuma spoke before his foes, specifically the SACP, and he left just after his address. The event was rained out before the SACP could speak.

According to Business Day, the SACP's address was later released, and it included a reiteration of the party's call for the president to step down.

Zuma said that during last week's marches, posters had shown black people portrayed as monkeys.

This comes as opposition parties plan anti-Zuma marches due to begin tomorrow, on the President's birthday.

According to The Times, the marches have been billed a "national day of action" and will be rolled out over the next few months.

At a press conference on Tuesday, United Democratic Front leader Bantu Holomisa reportedly said that the cabinet reshuffle had "started a domino effect...", according to The Times.