World Bulletin / News Desk
Protesters accused Zuma of allegedly fueling corruption in the government by giving favors to the prominent Indian Gupta family, a claim that both parties have strongly denied.
The Gupta family has been under the spotlight in South Africa for some time, on allegations it influenced Zuma to fire ministers who did not support their business interests.
The family is also accused of obtaining several government tenders by influencing officials involved in the bidding processes.
Wednesday’s march, organized by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) -- an alliance of Zuma’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) -- had demanded an end to corruption.
“We are tired of corruption. It is a cancer that erodes our society,” COSATU President Sdumo Dlamini told protesters in the coastal city of Durban.
He urged Zuma to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the alleged “state capture” by the Gupta family.
In South Africa, state capture refers to political corruption involving private businesses influencing the government’s decision-making process to their advantage.
Dlamini also said the COSATU was unhappy with workers getting “slave wages” and demanded employers to give them better wages.
In Johannesburg, the country’s economic hub, a swarm of protesters dressed in red marched to major banks, the mayor’s office and the chamber of mines where they handed over their list of demands.
Protesters carried placards reading “state capture is a criminal offence”, “Zuma must go”, “Labour brokers = slavery” and ‘‘Away with Gupta’s and associates”.
At the Johannesburg city council, marchers demanded authorities reduce the price of electricity, water and respect labor laws by stopping retrenchments.
Most shops remained closed in the Johannesburg citycenter as protesters marched through the streets.
Protesters also called for an end to the use of labor brokers and called for the speedy implementation of the national minimum wage.
South Africans have held several protests recently calling for 75-year-old Zuma to step down.
Zuma has survived several public protests and eight no-confidence votes in parliament which had called for his removal on allegations of corruption.