March against South African president continues Wednesday

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There are, however, signs that Zuma's power-base, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) which he leads, is starting to crumble, after senior figures, including deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, joined the criticism of his sacking of Mr Gordhan.

Zuma's office said the president would take part in his 75th birthday celebrations on Wednesday at a public venue in the township of Soweto, near the commercial hub of Johannesburg.

Fitch and S&P Global Ratings last week downgraded South Africa to "junk", citing Gordhan's dismissal as one reason, and more than 60,000 people marched in South African cities on Friday to demand Zuma quit.

The march, to government headquarters at Union Buildings, was organised by rival opposition parties ahead of a no confidence vote on Mr Zuma in the country's parliament on Tuesday, which he is expected to survive.

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Cape Town, April 11 (IANS) South African President Jacob Zuma has warned against "a resurgence of racism" in the country where "racists have become more emboldened". You know, we're all from ANC (African National Congress political party) but you know what, we are sick and exhausted for this Zuma.

Zuma also said that the late former president Nelson Mandela once called the opposition "Mickey Mouse parties" because they attack the ANC. "All people who love South Africa, who want to have a handsome South Africa, must go to Church Square on Wednesday!"

The president was also preparing for a special cabinet meeting to address the economy‚ which has been hit by two credit ratings downgrades after the recent cabinet reshuffle.

As the political landscape continued to fracture, the SA Communist Party in Gauteng broke with the organisation's sentiments about Zuma's leadership, saying it would not be throwing its weight behind the march, as the EFF and DA were "bourgeois".

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They have united to put pressure on the beleaguered leader.

At a legislative level, the South African government has published the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill, according to Zuma.

In another development, parliament said a motion of no-confidence in Zuma called by the opposition had been postponed until a court decided whether the vote should be taken by secret ballot.

Now we are seeing a section of society openly and unashamedly expressing a view that blacks should not rule the country and that they are no more than primates.

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"The DA's #NoConfidence petition has today exceeded 500 000 signatures, making our petition, if not already the biggest online political petition in South Africa ever, then certain to be the biggest", DA spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said.

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