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Political parties stage anti-Zuma protests in Pretoria

Thousands of demonstrators gather near Union Buildings in Pretoria to demand country's president to step down.

Thousands of demonstrators have gathered in the South African capital Pretoria for protests urging President Jacob Zuma to step down.

Wednesday's march to Union Buildings, the official seat of government, was organised by a coalition of opposition parties following nationwide rallies against Zuma last week.

The president's recent dismissal of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan stoked public anger over government corruption scandals, record unemployment and slowing economic growth.

The march was led by the leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, along with the Democratic Alliance (DA) and smaller opposition parties.

Gordhan's sacking prompted unprecedented criticism from senior figures in the ruling African National Congress (ANC), including from Cyril Ramaphosa, deputy president.

The ANC has since tried to close ranks behind Zuma and has pledged to defeat a no-confidence vote in parliament.

The vote is scheduled for next Tuesday but may be delayed due to a legal tussle over whether it should be a secret ballot for lawmakers.

Zuma, who turned 75 on Wednesday, is due to step down as head of the ANC in December, and as president in advance of the 2019 general election.

He is seen as favouring his ex-wife, former African Union chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to succeed him. 


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