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Africa

Protesters urge South African President Zuma to step down

Across South Africa, thousands of protesters have joined the social media campaign #ZumaMustFall. They are demanding that President Jacob Zuma step down or be forced to resign for the good of the country.

President Jacob Zuma attempted this week to appease a storm of controversy that erupted following his firing of former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. His appointment of a respected former finance minister did little to slow down a wave of anti-Zuma sentiments leaping up all over social media in recent days. This comes on top of claims of widespread corruption, recent student protests and a succession battle in the governing African National Congress (ANC).

On Wednesday people blocked Nelson Mandela Bridge in Johannesburg for about two hours. Zwelinzima Vavi, the former General Secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) addressed the crowd and called for change. The president of South Africa should be chosen by the people and not parliament, he said.

"Zuma has destroyed every legacy the ANC built since 1994 when Mandela was president," Vavi said. He added, to loud cheers, that the only way South Africa can move forward from the culture of corruption is to change drastically by removing Zuma.

South Africans from all walks of life came to together to protest. They sang as one and called on the ANC to recall Zuma. The protestors were supported by tweets and posts on social media under #ZumaMustFall.

Many protesters also gathered at the Union Buildings in Pretoria to speak their mind and to sign petitions.

"We will continue with the marches until Zuma is removed. He has disgraced our country and has destroyed our economy. Zuma must fall," said Martin Mokoena, a protester in Pretoria.

In Cape Town protesters in Company Gardens also expressed their unhappiness about President Zuma's leadership. Zuma himself was giving a speech at Reconciliation Day celebrations in Port Elizabeth. Zuma said that the country's first democratic government used December 16 to bring the country together.

South Africans across the country have shown their disapproval with large posters at the marches complaining about "nepotism, corruption and incompetence." While the president appears to have appeased the markets this week, his actions have not been able to appease the protesters.

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