#OccupyLuthuliHouse: Some ruling party members call for Zuma to resign
06 September 2016, 10:58
Nairobi - Some members of the South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) marched to the party's headquarters (Luthuli House) in Johannesburg on Monday to press their demand for President Jacob Zuma to resign.
The group, calling themselves #OccupyLuthuliHouse, handed over their petition to ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe.
Singing liberation war songs, the protesters also demanded that the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) members should resign, accusing the NEC for failing to hold Zuma accountable for the setback the party suffered in the Aug. 3 local government elections.
The ANC lost three major metros, namely Johannesburg, Pretoria and Nelson Mandela Bay in the elections, the biggest setback since ANC took power in 1994. Nationwide, support for the ANC also dropped considerably.
Former ANC Youth League (ANCYL) deputy president Ronald Lamola read the petition before handing it over to Mantashe.
Lamola said the ANC must immediately recall Zuma as president of the country and the entire NEC should also resign for the poor performance of the ANC in the elections.
The demonstrators also called for the party to implement the resolutions made by the party like free education.
Tension was high as some ANC veterans were trying to stop Mantashe from receiving the memorandum. Police separated the two ANC groups.
Mantashe addressed the crowd after receiving the memorandum, urging party members, who were "defending" their headquarters from #OccupyLuthuliHouse protesters, to refrain from violence.
Clad in camouflage, some veterans of the liberation struggle Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) vowed to defend the party's headquarters, the party itself and Zuma, the ANC president.
Sasabona Manganye, ANC member and Chairperson of Sefako Makgatho branch, who is founder of the #OccupyLuthuliHouse group, said they will "continue mobilizing ANC members, supporters and the broader society in pursuit of these legitimate demands by South Africans."