NEWS

Cape Town Braced For Pro, Anti-Zuma Marches On August 8

People will take to the streets on the day of the vote of no confidence in the president.

01/08/2017 15:41 SAST | Updated 01/08/2017 15:41 SAST
Mike Hutchings / Reuters
Demonstrators protest against South African President Jacob Zuma's firing of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, outside Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, March 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

The City of Cape Town is bracing itself for multiple marches on August 8, the day Parliament will vote on another motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete has yet to say if the motion will be conducted via secret ballot.

At least three different marches, both for and against Zuma, are expected to take place in Cape Town next week.

All 12 opposition parties have united to march for Zuma to go on August 8. It will begin at the Keizersgracht parking lot from 9.30am and make its way to Parliament.

"We call on MPs to do the right thing," reads the opposition-sponsored march's flyer.

The Western Cape ANC's Dullah Omar (Cape Town) region, a known stronghold for President Zuma in the province, will hold its own "In defence of democracy" march from the Grand Parade to Parliament on the same day. It is expected to start at 09:00.

This week, the ANC national executive committee reversed the province's decision, taken in June, to disband the region's leadership. The provincial ANC has been plagued by public infighting, and the decision will be seen as a win for the pro-Zuma section of the party.

On Monday, the day before the motion, the #UniteBehindcoalition will hold an anti-Zuma march from Keizersgracht, starting at 15:00.

"We have come together as the #UniteBehind coalition to demand that the ANC recall President Jacob Zuma," its flyer reads.

"Many of our problems - inequality, unemployment, colonial legacies, apartheid spatial planning, and crime and gender-based violence - cannot be addressed as long as Zuma continues to sabotage and loot our economy."

Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, who lost his position in President Jacob Zuma's Cabinet reshuffle in March, will address the crowd.

The coalition, comprising 21 groups including Equal Education, Right 2 Know, Save SA, and Sonke Gender Justice, will call for MPs to put the interests of the country and its people first.

It has called on members of the public to join its march, as it felt it was important to differentiate itself from political parties in a "people's march".

The City of Cape Town has approved all three marches.

Mbete said previously her decision on the secret ballot will be made before August 8.

A decision to hold the vote via open ballot before Tuesday will likely see it challenged in court on the basis of rationality. If so, the motion could be postponed for a second time.

News24