NEWS

Opposition Parties Set Aside Culture Clashes for Wednesday's Day Of Action

Political parties taking part in Wednesday's protest are determined to show a united front, and hope all sectors of society will join in.

12/04/2017 06:11 SAST | Updated 12/04/2017 07:35 SAST

The cultures of each opposition party planning to march on Wednesday could not be more different.

However the coalition, including the African Christian Democratic Party, African Independent Congress, African People's Convention, Congress of the People, Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters, Inkatha Freedom Party and the United Democratic Movement, are determined to show a united show of force against President Jacob Zuma.

Despite earlier hints that ANC members may try to disrupt Wednesday's 'National Day of Action' march in Pretoria, the political parties say they will not be deterred by threats of violence.

Their joint aim is to first force Zuma's removal, and then to oust the ANC.

Protesters are due to march from Church Square in Pretoria to the Union Buildings starting at 9am.

Middle-class

The parties have encouraged protestors from across political and social backgrounds to take part. But some analysts claim the anti-Zuma protests have taken on a particularly middle-class bent.

In addition, the various parties have widely different styles of protest. Will this affect Wednesday's protest?

Bantu Holomisa, leader of the UDM, dismissed the idea.

"I'm not interested in those kinds of politics. I didn't see people from the middle class last week. I saw South Africans. It [the march] reflected what we are in South Africa, rich in diversity. We expect the same tomorrow, with people coming from all sectors of society," he said.

The UDM is sending protesters from the Gauteng region, said Holomisa, adding that his party did not have the resources to send people from further afield. He said he was expecting the crowd to total 5000.

The DA and EFF are both on alert for violent opposition from the ANC.

DA MP and spokesperson, Phumzile van Damme, told Huffington Post that the parties were not deterred by threats of violence. She said that those who threaten violence only do so because they do not know how to defend Zuma any other way.

EFF leader Julius Malema was more militant in his response, saying the EFF was ready for any potential conflicts.

"Let them organise their own events if they want to. If they want to organise Zuma's birthday, let them organise it there. Not anywhere close to where we are marching. Here [in Pretoria] we have met the requirements to be here. We are not going to be bullied by anyone, not even those in that uniform from PEP Store which they wear at Luthuli House. Not that so-called Youth League will scare us. Nothing like that," Malema said.

Meanwhile, the police are on alert for any incidents.

New police commissioner Fikile Mbalula called for peace.

"The SAPS members, together with other government departments, law enforcement agencies and stakeholders will once again be deployed to maintain law and order and to keep South Africans safe," he said.