South Africans living in the UK hit London’s Trafalgar Square calling for President Jacob Zuma to step down, on Saturday, April 8.
Demonstrators gathered outside South Africa House, famous for the golden springbok above its entrance.
The protest came after hundreds of thousands marched across South Africa on Friday – with reports of the biggest demonstrations the nation has seen since its first democratic vote in 1994.
‘We handed a petition to the High Commission in London, and we’ve had a really good turn out,’ says Will Van Der Merwe, Democratic Alliance Abroad Chairperson. ‘Probably about six hundred plus people in solidarity with the marches in South Africa.’
The country’s political crisis has intensified over recent weeks as major cabinet reshuffles took place.
Two credit rating agencies slashed South Africa to junk status after the sacking of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan last week.
The sacking pushed key ANC partners to join the calls for Mr Zuma to step down, but he is not due to go until his term runs out in 2019.
Mr Zuma dodged further calls for him to step down by powerful bodies in the country, such as unions and the South African communist party.
The president also got the backing of a committee in parliament, who could have otherwise had him sacked.
‘People came out and expressed themselves in numbers,’ says Ramadimetje Lucy Mashigo, Chair and founder of South Africans in the UK.
‘We are hoping that people at home will get the message that we are in distress as much as they are in distress with the situation.’
One demonstrator, Diba Batso, came down to protest against President Zuma because of the recent downgrading of South Africa’s credit rating.
‘It’s going to affect the poorest of the poor,’ she said.
Mashigo, who represented the ANC at the event said that she hopes the ANC will reflect on the recent controversy in South Africa’s political sphere.
‘It’s a wake up call to us at the ANC.’ she said. ‘We need to look at how we can work things better, to satisfy the people who put the ANC into government.’