President Jacob Zuma said that racists are behind the recent protest marches in South Africa while speaking at a Chris Hani memorial service.
Over 100 000 South Africans marched in protest against Zuma last Friday, demanding he must go, after having fired Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
In his first public response to the protests, Zuma said they “demonstrated that racism is real” in South Africa.
“Many placards and posters displayed beliefs that we thought had been buried in 1994, with some posters depicting black people as baboons,” the president said.
“It is clear that some of our white compatriots regard black people as being lesser human beings or sub-human.”
While playing the race card, Zuma ignores the reality that South Africans from all walks of life marched and in fact, the protest brought South Africans closer together as all are united behind the call that Zuma must go.
Opposition party, the Democratic Alliance said that President Zuma’s comments slamming the mass marches across the country and claiming that they were inspired by racism clearly shows that he is out of touch with the South African public’s very valid anger over his destructive leadership.
“As a direct result of Zuma’s midnight reshuffle, our country has been downgraded by two ratings agencies to junk status.
His irrational actions will have a massively negative effect on the poorest in our country who are mostly black. The fact that he cannot or chooses not to see this only confirms that Zuma governs like black lives do not matter.
His comments also undermine legitimate protests and exposes how little he cares about South Africans and their concerns,” said DA National Spokesperson Phumzile Van Damme.
“Zuma has taken leadership and control of economic decision making. And it seems that he is intent on ruling with an iron fist, without due regard to the formalities of ANC policy and the budget, said political commentator Gauta Komane.
South Africans will take to the streets tomorrow in another protest march and will again call on Zuma to resign.