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CT prepares for Peoples March against Zuma

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Cape Town is bracing itself for a mass march to Parliament on Monday, organised by a wide spectrum of civil society and faith based organisations under the banner of the #UniteBehind coalition. The demonstration comes before the crucial vote of no-confidence in President Zuma is due to be held in Parliament. The march aims to pressure the ANC to recall President Zuma and for all MPs to vote according to their constitutional obligations.

Mcebisi Jonas, ousted as Deputy Minister of Finance after refusing a R600m bribe from the Guptaswill address the march. Other speakers include Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba and Methodist Presiding Bishop ZiphoSiwa. Youth, women, pensioners, nurses, teachers, workers and unemployed people will speak and march to demand an end to the rampant corruption with government and the ruling party.

“#UniteBehind coalition affiliates struggle daily for a just and equal South Africa. As a first step, we must compel the ANC to recall President Zuma. Furthermore, the nuclear deal must be scrapped, and we must root out corruption in government and business,” said the coalition in a statement.

“The corruption of the historically privileged must be also be prosecuted. In our democracy, however, this cannot happen without an open and accountable government.”

The #UniteBehind coalition, born out of the Cape Town memorial for Ahmed Kathrada, believes that ending the Zuma Presidency is necessary, but not sufficient to address the injustice of racism, patriarchy, inequality, and corporate lawlessness.

“Land, education, healthcare, housing, safety and security, child-care facilities, water, sanitation, access to justice, and a living wage among others, must all be equally distributed and justly organised. This is a society whereby the people begin toshare in the country’s wealth. This is our struggle now and after Zuma goes,” said the coalition.

On 8 August, the day after our march, two further marches have been announced by the political parties. These coincide with the no-confidence vote in Parliament. One is organised by the unified opposition plus civil society groups (to remove Zuma) and the other, a counter-march, also to Parliament, by the ANC, in defence of Zuma.

“They rejected our proposal to split the day of 8 August, where #UniteBehind could march in the morning and the opposition parties, as well as the ANC, in the afternoon and evening, so as to keep a unified day of action. Instead they demanded that #UniteBehind join them, or be separated away from the vicinity of Parliament,” said the coalition.

“In our view, political parties have a loud and dominant voice in Parliament, on this day, the streets should belong to the people.”

The coalition added that the Dullah Omar region of the ANC including its youth league, “known for its virulent opposition to criticism of Zuma”, are organising a counter-march. It said a potential clashbetween political parties would have left demonstrators vulnerable.

“All #UniteBehind’s attempts to be reasonable were met with refusal or non-response by the DA, leading the negotiations on behalf of the opposition in meetings. We were therefore left with no choice but to arrange the #PeoplesMarch for 7 August. Despite this regrettable change, we believe we will send a powerfulmessage to MPs before the day of the vote.”

This march will begin at 3pm on Monday at the top of Keizersgracht Street. VOC

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