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National Day of Action set to hit Pretoria CBD

Politics
Pretoria – City motorists have been urged to avoid sections of the CBD on Wednesday when the second mass action in less than a week – to force President Jacob Zuma to step down – hits the capital.

The National Day of Action, expected to draw thousands, will see protesters gathering at Church Square from 9am and proceed to the Union Buildings at 12pm. It follows the People’s March last Thursday under the banner of Save SA.

The city's metro police spokesperson, Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba, said Madiba, Edmond and Hamilton streets would be closed and reserved for buses transporting march participants.

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City motorists have been urged to avoid sections of the Pretoria CBD on Wednesday when the second anti-Zuma march hits the capital. Picture: Jacques Naude

“Metro Police officers will be deployed to monitor the march. Motorists are advised to avoid the affected streets and use alternative routes,” he said. Other streets to be affected are Lillian Ngoyi, Sisulu, Du Toit, Nelson Mandela Drive, Edmond, Hamilton and Thabo Sehume.

On Monday, EFF leader Julius Malema said the National Day of Action was only just the beginning.

The rolling mass action would be the order of the day until the 2019 general elections if Zuma did not heed the call to step down, he said.

Addressing the media alongside other opposition leaders in Pretoria, Malema said the steering committee for the mass action received proposals to stage another on April 27, Freedom Day. 

More anti-Zuma activities had also been suggested in different provinces. “The more the ANC keeps Zuma, the better for all of us (as political parties); they are going to lose the elections,” he said.

He applauded the UDM for its Constitutional Court action, calling for the Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete to allow MPs to vote by secret ballot on April 18, the day set aside for yet another motion of no confidence in Zuma.

“The constitution says that if more than one person is contesting for presidency, voting shall take place secretly, but when it is time to remove the president we must do so by show of hands We think that is inconsistent with our constitution. People must be free to express themselves,” Malema said.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said the party had already filed papers at the Constitutional Court with respect to the secret ballots. “I am optimistic that we are putting a strong case.“

Malema said the UDM's legal efforts to have a secret ballots would make it easier to remove Zuma.

DA MP Phumzile van Damme said negotiations among political parties were ongoing. “Some ANC leaders and MPs approached our leader Mmusi Maimane, indicating that they would be willing to put a motion of no-confidence,” she said.

Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota dismissed the narrative that the ANC or any political party could dismiss a member for voting with their conscience as wrong and unfounded.

Pretoria News

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