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'We're prepared to go the trenches against Guptas'

Politics
Pretoria – Save SA convenor Sipho Pityana on Monday warned that the group's activists were prepared to fight against so-called state capture, in the same way they fought against the apartheid regime.

"Our country, our freedom is not for sale. We will not allow it. We will fight it to the last drop of our blood. We are prepared to put on our boots all over again get back to the trenches and fight in a way that many of our young people today cannot remember," Pityana told hundreds of Save SA protesters at the National Treasury in Pretoria.

"They are taking this freedom for granted. They look at us and they think we've just arrived. We were there in the trenches when this freedom was fought for. We fought and defeated apartheid. We will fight and defeat the Guptas. We will fight and defeat Zuma and his cronies."

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Save SA convenor Sipho Pityana addressing protesters at the National Treasury in Pretoria .

Pityana said the #OccupyTreasury movement was bringing together South Africans from different political parties and from all walks of lives. Activists have been protesting outside the National Treasury building since Friday, after President Jacob Zuma reshuffled his Cabinet and replaced Pravin Gordhan as finance minister with Malusi Gigaba. Pityana said the "late night" Cabinet reshuffle was tantamount to stealing the nation and citizens must fight to reclaim it.

"He stole our nation and we must fight to reclaim it. We call on the leadership of the African National Congress to tell Jacob Zuma to step down. If he refuses to step down, the ANC cannot have any justification anymore for refusing to support a motion of no confidence by public representatives in Parliament. We must make it clear that there is no excuse anymore. Remove Jacob Zuma," said Pityana to applause.

"A vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma is necessary and is urgent. When Parliament convenes to consider a motion of no confidence, we will be there in large numbers to ensure that our voices are heard. We cannot be led by a thief. We cannot be led by a corrupt president. Pityana said if Zuma knew that he was not "a thief" and not corrupt, he would have taken him to court.

Another activist, Mark Heywood of Section27 said the Church Square, adjacent to the National Treasury building will be the "Tahir Square" of this current push to oust Zuma.

"By the end of this week, we will not be happy if we are only a few hundred people on this square. By the end of this week, I want Church Square to look like Tahir Square in Egypt. I want it to be full of people from South Africa who come here because this building [National Treasury] controls R1 trillion. That is people's money, not the Guptas money," said Heywood.

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