President Jacob Zuma attends a commemoration for anti-apartheid leader Chris Hani in Boksburg. Zuma said many white demonstrators calling for his resignation are racist. AP Photo
Johannesburg – The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Monday said President Jacob Zuma's comments on mass marches confirmed that he did not care about the people, accusing him of governing like black lives did not matter.

This comes after Zuma slammed the anti-Zuma protest marches staged in major cities across the country on Friday calling on him to resign following his recent Cabinet reshuffle which saw Pravin Gordhan being axed as Finance Minister.

Speaking at the annual Chris Hani Wreath Laying Ceremony in Elspark in Boksburg on Monday, Zuma said the marches demonstrated that racism is real and exists in the country.

"Many placards and posters displayed beliefs that we thought had been buried in 1994, with some posters depicting black people as baboons. It is clear that some of our white compatriots regard black people as being lesser human beings or sub-human," Zuma said.

But DA spokeswoman, Phumzile van Damme, said that Zuma's comments clearly showed that he was out of touch with the valid anger from South Africans over his destructive leadership.

"His comments also undermine legitimate protests and exposes how little he cares about South Africans and their concerns," van Dammes said.

"If Zuma refuses to hear the people’s cries, we must make sure he does. We have the power to do so and must march en masse so that he will have no choice but to hear us. South Africa's foreign currency credit rating was downgraded to junk status by S&P Global and Fitch credit rating agencies in the wake of the Cabinet reshuffle.

"As a direct result of Zuma’s midnight reshuffle, our country has been downgraded by two ratings agencies to junk status," van Damme said.

"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."

Another protest march to Union Buildings calling for Zuma to step down by a coalition of opposition parties is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, his 75th birthday.

Van Damme said the DA would join other political party's to march to the Union Buildings to make it clear that "enough is enough, Zuma must go".