President Jacob Zuma’s 75th Birthday: South Africa’s Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma was born on 12 April 1942 at Nkandla in northern Natal – now KwaZulu-Natal province.
Zuma, whose praise name is Msholozi, turns 75 today, and the celebration will be marked with a huge ANC bash in Kliptown‚ Soweto.
In a statement released on Wednesday, President Zuma made known his birthday wish. According to the embattled president, he wishes to see South Africa making more progress in fighting poverty and inequality.
He added: “ We need to make progress in black economic empowerment to promote true economic freedom. I also wish to see us winning the battle against racism in our country. We remain committed to building a non-racial society and will continue to work hard to unite our people against racism and all its manifestations.
My wish is also to see more citizens working with the police and government to rid our communities of crime and building safer communities.”
This year’s birthday is no doubt, Zuma’s worst birthday ever, as tens of thousands of people would be staging a march against him.
The marchers would be taking their grievances to the seat of government at the Union Buildings in Pretoria to call on the president to step down.
The protest comes barely five days after thousands of protesters across the country took part in anti-Zuma marches last Friday.
Though the president suggested that last Friday’s protests were driven by racism – pointing to racist placards displayed during the protests – it’s glaring that he would receive heavier backlashes on his birthday.
The presidency has also wished President Jacob Zuma a wonderful and fulfilling birthday as he turns 75 today.
It added that Zuma will spend the morning continuing with his normal program, holding consultations with Ministers and will later join his organisation, the ANC, for a celebration rally this afternoon in Soweto.
However, it expressed sadness with Ontlametse Phalatse’s tragic demise, which it said has dampened the President’s birthday.
Phalatse, who suffered from a rare genetic disorder which causes premature aging, died on Wednesday morning. She was admitted to Dr. George Mukhari Academic Hospital with breathing difficulties on Tuesday.
The Presidency wishes President Jacob Zuma a very happy and fulfilling birthday as he turns 75 years old today. https://t.co/pWRc05NnAx
— PresidencyZA (@PresidencyZA) April 12, 2017
Scores of Economic Freedom Fighters kicked off the anti-Zuma protests, dubbed the National Day of Action.
As at 9:01 am, there was a heavy downpour in Gauteng while the whether in Pretoria was clear.
— EFF Official Account (@EFFSouthAfrica) April 12, 2017
At the time, gathering at the Church Square had already started with the march scheduled to kick off at 12:00.
A truck loaded with a huge public address system was spotted in the area playing loud music while food vendors were seen setting up stalls ahead of the multi-party protest.
— Tshepiso Moche (@tshepimoche) April 12, 2017
Around the Union Buildings, there is a heavy police presence with lots of barbed wired up and police nyalas everywhere.
On Monday, leaders from the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), African Independent Congress (AIC), African People’s Convention (APC), Congress of the People (Cope), Democratic Alliance (DA), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the United Democratic Movement (UDM) held a joint press conference.
They announced that their differences had been set aside andb that they are putting their individual political programs on hold for the purposes of putting the country first.
It is safe to say that the mass protest action and pending motion of no confidence against a democratically elected president are occurring because South Africa has a crisis of accountability.
Till now South Africa is yet to get a straight answer as to why former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his former deputy Mcebisi Jonas were fired.
It’s glaring that Zuma does not recognise the need to account to the people who elected him. He only communicates on his own terms, rebuffs questions about the decisions he makes and how he runs his government.
It’s President Jacob Zuma’s 75th birthday and from all of us at BuzzSouthAfrica, we wish Mr. President a wonderful birthday.