South Africa: Thousands of protesters call for South African president to resign

Displayed with permission from dpa German Press Agency

Johannesburg (dpa) – Thousands of anti-government protesters rallied in the South African capital of Pretoria on Wednesday to call for the resignation of President Jacob Zuma, who faces multiple corruption charges.

Demonstrators carried posters that read « enough is enough » and « defend democracy » as they marched towards government buildings, photos from the protest showed.

Security forces used water cannons and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds, local broadcaster eNCA reported.

The protest march comes a day after prominent clerics, entrepreneurs and veteran politicians of the ruling party demanded Zuma to step down, claiming his ongoing scandals damaged South Africa’s democracy.

Zuma is facing several corruption allegations. Most recently, he is accused of political interference by a wealthy business family.

A recent report by South Africa’s public protector investigated allegations that the Gupta family « captured the state » by influencing appointments of ministers and directors of state-owned companies and obtained corrupt deals.

The Guptas – with interests in computer equipment, media and mining – are known to be close to Zuma.

Earlier this year, Zuma had to repay the government 7.8 million rand (537,000 dollars) in taxpayers’ money he used to upgrade his private home, after the Constitutional Court ruled the president violated the constitution.

The affair is seen as having done enormous damage to the ruling African National Congress (ANC), which suffered losses in local elections in August.

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