‘’Let us change South Africa for the better, let us prosper this nation, let us build this beautiful South Africa of ours! …Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika – God seën Suid-Afrika! Let us live and strive for freedom in South Africa, our beautiful land!’’ – followed by the popular and ever so powerful ‘’Amandla!’’ with the crowd responding to DA leader Mmusi Maimane: ‘’Awethu!’’.
This spirit filled the streets of Johannesburg, along with many other gathering points all over the country on Friday 7 April, as the nation stood together to protest at the March for Change. The peaceful march from Westgate Transport Hub to Mary Fitzgerald Square was open to all South Africans, regardless of their political affiliation.
‘’This is an opportunity for South Africans to unite to protect our precious, hard-won democracy, and send a loud and clear message to Jacob Zuma that his time to go is NOW!’’ the Democratic Alliance said. There is also a petition for a motion of no confidence in President Zuma, which can be signed at noconfidence.co.za. President Zuma is facing increasing backlash against his government reshuffle last week, where he axed finance minister Pravin Gordhan.
The thousands of protesters were addressed by religious leaders from various denominations, all praying for South Africa and its people, before the Opposition Leader took the stage. He told protesters that the new struggle begins now, and that everyone must stand together against oppression.
As the peaceful protest ended, a march-goer, clad in DA party colours, was attacked while making his way through the CBD. The Citizen reported that the man was kicked, punched and attacked with stones by ANC supporters claiming to protect the ANC headquarters. He was rescued by two men clad in ANC t-shirts.
A National Day of Action is taking place today in the form of a march from Church Square to the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Today, numerous political parties – including the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), Congress of the People (COPE), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), African People’s Convention (APC), Democratic Alliance (DA), United Democratic Movement (UDM) and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), are joining forces in the call for President Zuma to step down – on his birthday.