WATCH: 'Unity of purpose' at #NationalDayOfAction

The Zuma Era
Pretoria – Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema on Wednesday urged thousands of activists from several opposition parties to observe strict discipline in the anti-Zuma march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

"You follow the road that has been given to us. You follow leaders. If you go and use other routes, and they arrest you, we will not be responsible. You act out of instructions given by the leadership. You do not act on your own because you will be destroying a powerful message," said Malema to thousands of protesters at Church Square in Pretoria CBD.

"Agent provocateurs should not be given an opportunity today. Anyone who engages in looting, or in disruptive activities, pull them by the trousers or by the skirt and tell them we are not here for those things. Unity of purpose is paramount." Malema charged his followers, who were the majority at the march, to tolerate members of other political parties at the protest. 

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Leaders of numerous political parties lead a protest from Pretoria central to Union Buildings. The protest is called National Day of Action. Photo: ANAPhoto: ANAPhoto: ANAPhoto: ANAPhoto: ANA

"Members of the EFF, allow other parties to be among you. We don't want to see only red here. As we march, we want to see a mixture of all parties," said Malema.

The former ANC Youth League leader addressed the thousands of activists from parties including the EFF, Democratic Alliance (DA), African People's Convention (APC), United Democratic Movement (UDM), Congress of the People (Cope) and Agang SA. Malema told the crowd that the protest on Wednesday was "a show of force".

Video: ANA

"Today is a show of force, because all political parties have come together to send one message. Zuma must leave office. The sooner he leaves the better because this country must recover economically. Because we love South Africa, today we are going to march hand in hand with all political parties," said Malema emphatically. 

Addressing the same gathering, DA national spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said opposition parties had resolved to put their differences aside for the sake of South Africa.

"We are really honoured to be here today with other opposition parties. We have all put our differences aside because we all care about the future of South Africa. So as we march towards the Union Buildings, please may we all be disciplined and let's be clear in our message. Zuma must fall," she chanted.

COPE leader Mosiuoa Lekota urged Zuma to "give way".

APC leader Themba Godi said the thousands of people were at the march because they are fed up with Zuma's rule.

Democratic Alliance MP Phumzile van Damme at "National Day of Action" in Pretoria. Video: ANA

"We are here to say enough is enough. There must be change in the interest of the African people. The poor people from the villages, from the townships, can no longer be spectators in the country of their birth. Their material conditions must change. The actions and the tensions in the ruling party is threatening to put in the back burner the needed transformation to improve the lives of our people," Godi said to applause from the protesters.

"Today let us together take the first step towards the self determination of our people. It is about mobilisation, organising our people."

By midday, the protesters left the Church Square and headed to the Union Buildings, under strict police watch.

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