In Brief

South Africa opposition unites against Zuma

Rival parties join thousands on the streets of Pretoria demanding President Jacob Zuma's resignation

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South Africa witnessed mass protests in Pretoria as opposition groups united to demand President Jacob Zuma's resignation.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of the capital, led by the heads of all the major opposition parties, including Mmusi Maimane of the Democratic Alliance, Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom Fighters and Bantu Holomisa, a close friend of Nelson Mandela and leader of the United Democratic Movement.

"Zuma should just do the honourable thing and hand over power to other people. He has humiliated the people of this country and made us a laughing stock," Godrich Gardee, secretary general of the Economic Freedom Fighters, said.

The march, which coincided with Zuma's 75th birthday, was the biggest of a series of large, well-coordinated demonstrations around the country since the President fired Pravin Gordhan, his internationally respected finance minister, two weeks ago.

Zuma's reputation has already suffered from a series of corruption scandals, but his latest reshuffle, which critics say was politically motivated, has further dented his standing.

After his move, the South African rand tumbled and the country's bonds were downgraded to junk status.

Meanwhile, the ruling ANC, which is expected to lose its two-thirds majority in a "tight" election in 2019, "is also grappling with internal splits over its ban on MPs voting in favour of a motion of no confidence in the president that was due to be debated on Tuesday", says The Times.

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