Twitter users in South Africa are divided over the marches called by civil society groups to demand the sacking of President Jacob Zuma.
Some have accused him of betraying the legacy of South Africa’s first black President Nelson Mandela, who is known as Madiba, while others say the protesters are motivated by selfish interests.
Protesters have taken to the streets of some of South Africa’s major cities to demand the sacking of President Jacob Zuma, after he sent the economy into a tailspin last week with a controversial cabinet reshuffle.
Civil society groups called the protest under the hashtag #ZumaMustFall, warning that corruption and cronyism was worsening in the country since he took office in 2009.
Mr Zuma caused widespread anger last week – and sent the currency plunging – when he appointed the inexperienced Des van Rooyen as finance minister in of Africa’s second-biggest economy.
Four days later, he bowed to pressure by dismissing Mr van Royyen appointing the respected Pravin Gordhan to the post.
It follows widespread concern that corruption and cronyism is worsening in South Africa.
The protests are taking place on the Day of Reconciliation – a public holiday intended to bring South Africans of all races together.
ANC refuses to sack Zuma
South Africa’s electoral system should change so that voters can elect the president, says Zwelinzima Vaviva, the former secretary-general of South Africa’s trade union federation Cosatu.
He was the keynote speaker at a march in the main city, Johannesburg, calling for the sacking of President Jacob Zuma following last week’s fiaco over the appointment of a finance minister.
The president is currently elected by parliament, where Mr Zuma’s governing African National Congress (ANC) commands an overwhelming majority.
The ANC has ruled out firing Mr Zuma, saying he heeded public concerns by dismissing the inexperienced and mostly unknown Des van Rooyen as finance minister – four days after appointing him.
Mr Van Rooyen’s appointment led to South Africa’s currency, the rand, plunging to a record low, and raised fears of a recession in Africa’s second-biggest economy.
Zuma loyalists want to ‘eat carcass of state’
Allies of South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma had made a bid to seize the treasury through last week’s appointment of a former mayor, Des van Rooyen, as finance minister, in order to “blunt the instruments of democracy”, says Vavi continued.
“They were wanting to grab the treasury for the interests of [those] who are eating from the carcass of our state,” said Mr Vavi at the #ZumaMustFall march in the main city, Johannesburg.