EFF leader Julius Malema addresses thousands of protesters at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Picture: Twitter
Pretoria – South African opposition parties must build on the success of Wednesday's "National Day of Action" protest and sync their efforts to oust President Jacob Zuma, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema told thousands of supporters.

"Ours is the interest of South Africa, and not petty politics.

When the State of South Africa is threatened we put aside our differences. We unite for the purpose of winning back our beautiful country. We must salute these leaders [of different opposition parties]," Malema said as he addressed thousands of activists protesting against Zuma at the Union Buildings.

"When we are united, we will never be illiterate president. Zuma is going to leave office, whether he likes it or not. This office belongs to the people of South Africa. This office doesn't belong to a clan of Nxamalala. This is not Nkandla compound. He must go back to the village and herd cattle. There are no cows here at Union Buildings."

Tearing further into Zuma, Malema said the president was not good enough for the job.

EFF leader Julius Malema addressing the "National Day of Action" protest against President Jacob Zuma. Video: ANA

"The only job he can do better is to look after cattle. He doesn't belong here. We do not have any memorandum [to hand over to the Presidency] because who occupies this office cannot read. So it will be a waste of time to present a memorandum to an illiterate someone who doesn't have a relationship with books. The man hates books, and therefore our memorandum will not be read by this clown occupying these offices" said Malema.

Malema said the protest on Wednesday, dubbed the National Day of Action, was not a once-off event. "This is a rolling mass action. We are coming to Free State, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West and Limpopo. We are going to all big cities in South Africa. We are going to KwaZulu Natal, because everyone in South Africa is tired of Zuma. We do not want to leave any space unoccupied," said Malema.

He said the downgrading of the South African economy by international rating agencies spelled bad news for the future of the nation. "They are misleading you, saying this is an issue of white people. It's not an issue of white people alone. It's an issue that is going to hit the pockets of the poorest man in the streets. It's an issue that is going to affect the poorest of the poor in the shacks. It's an issue that is going to affect the lowest paid workers. This is your issue," said Malema.

"We are taking government in 2019. At that time bread is going to be R80, and you are going to blame us because of problems created by this man. So we must prevent it now before it becomes a nightmare for everyone. So this [the protest] is not just a useless exercise. You have sent a strong message." The multiparty protest was organised by the Democratic Alliance (DA), the United Democratic Movement (UDM), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP), the Congress of the People (Cope), the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the African People’s Convention (APC).

Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota addressing the "National Day of Action" protest against President Jacob Zuma. Video: ANA

Earlier, 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.

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

“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.”

African News Agency