Twitter hashtag #ZumaMustFallMarch was trending at number one in South Africa on Wednesday (16 December) as thousands took to the streets to demand that President Jacob Zuma resign from his post. The ANC, Zuma's ruling political party, has come out in defence of the president.
The anti-Zuma protest was led by the Unite Against Corruption group, who also led the #FeesMustFall campaign in October. People in Pretoria, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg took to the streets, insisting that corruption has worsened in South Africa since Zuma came to power in 2009. The march coincides with the public holiday, Day of Reconciliation, which is to encourage national unity.
President Zuma caused nationwide anger last week when he dismissed Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and replaced him with Desmond van Rooyen. The move resulted in an immediate dip of the country's rand currency against the US dollar.
Zuma then dismissed van Rooyen four days later, replacing him with veteran finance minister Pravin Gordhan. However, protesters were not satisfied, insisting that he should have foreseen the consequences.
Johan de Meyer, spokesperson for the Unite Against Corruption Campaign, said: "The issue at heart is that the President has broken his trust with the nation because he didn't put the nation first as he pledged when he became president in the first place."
A survey conducted by Ipsos revealed that Zuma is currently South Africa's least favourite government leader, with less than half of adults in the country believing that he is doing his job very or fairly well.
As people came out to protest, the ANC said that while they supported the people's right to demonstrate, they did not share their views that Zuma should resign. "We are aware of the marches organised for the Day of Reconciliation. They all have rights, they are citizens of this country. We obviously do not support their call at all as the ANC," said Deputy Secretary Jessie Duarte.