BATHURST residents joined citizens around South Africa today for a #ZumaMustFall march, following a popular call on social media to “shut down SA” in protest of President Zuma firing Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and the downturn in the economy.
Zuma’s latest actions were seen as the last straw for many South Africans already angry and disillusioned over state capture by the Gupta family, the arms deal, Nkandla, and the president still having to answer to 783 charges of corruption against him that extend back to before he became president.
Wearing black South African flag T-shirts saying “South Africa must rise”, about 70 residents of Bathurst marched from Nolukhanyo township through Bathurst village to the police station.
Holding placards with statements like “No to Zuma” and “The people united will never be defeated” and carrying South African flags, the multiracial group of marchers sang and danced as they moved along a back road before making their way onto the R67 with a police escort.
Once they reached the police station, one of the organisers, Monty Roodt, addressed the crowd, saying: “We’ve got to keep up the pressure. The people in the ANC we thought would be on our side have already backed down.
“It will be up to civil society – churches, clubs and ordinary people – until we get rid of the corrupt clique running this country, the Guptas and Zuma.”
Co-organiser Temba “Pes” Mamana said he was pleased to see the good turnout. “We are here as all races,” he said.
Roodt said organisers had called a meeting of Bathurst residents at the Pig n Whistle on Wednesday night and decided to have a march. They applied to the municipality that same night and got municipal and SAPS permission.
Resident Michael Meyer bought 500 T-shirts and Tori and Craig Stowe did the South African flag and “South Africa must rise” prints for free.
Bathurst station commander Captain Ernest Mhauli said it was a very peaceful march.