Demonstrators protest against President Jacob Zuma outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Picture: Themba Hadebe/AP

East London - Eastern Cape protesters took part in the anti-Zuma march on Friday with one message: that if President Jacob Zuma does not resign, they will unseat the ANC through the ballot in 2019.

Over 2 000 protesters gathered at Buffalo City stadium outside East London before making their way to the City Hall where messages of support for those calling for Zuma to resign were read out. They braved a rainy weather singing Siphuma imvula isitsho, phuma Zuma (We’re going out while it’s raining, resign Zuma).”

Similar marches were organised in Grahamstown, King William’s Town and Queenstown.

UDM MP Mncedisi Filtane, who took part in the East London march, says Zuma has flouted the country’s constitution. “Constitution It means nothing to Zuma and the ANC is doing nothing about this. Zuma is bad for our economy and this kills our chances of employment. Zuma has to go for our economy to grow,” said Filtane.

DA provincial chairperson Veliswa Mvenya, who is also the party’s MPL in the Eastern Cape legislature, said that if the ANC-led government claims to be a caring government, it needs to release Zuma.

“If ANC does not release Zuma, in 2019 they are in trouble. We are not marching for our political parties, our concern is the future of this country,” Mvenya said.

East London businesswoman Anne Meyer said: “We can do as much as we can to keep employment, but if the man in charge is not willing to help keep South Africa’s employment, we have got no choice but to support calls for Zuma to go.”

A student from Fort Hare University said she supports calls for Zuma to resign because she fears that levels of unemployment are going to get be worse in the upcoming years. “We are all worried because we have recently been downgraded. We cannot grow the economy under a president who is not prepared to listen to our concerns,” said the second-year student from the university’s East London campus.

Pretoria News Weekend