Zuma using race card out of desperation - Save SA

Organisation says if president is truly offended he must report the matter to HRC

Zuma using race card out of desperation - Save SA

11 April 2017

Cape Town – Civil organisation Save SA has criticised President Jacob Zuma’s statements on Monday that marches against him on Friday were racist.

“We have observed in the recent period that the president has, out of desperation, been demonstrating an inclination to invoke the race card in a divisive manner,” Save SA said in a statement.

While addressing crowds at the commemoration of the assassination of Chris Hani on Monday, Zuma said posters at last week's marches displayed beliefs he thought had died in 1994.

He alleged that some posters depicted black people as baboons.

"It is clear some of our white compatriots regard black people as lesser human beings or subhuman," Zuma said.

Save SA however said that if Zuma was truly offended, he would report the matter to the Human Rights Commission.

“Had we seen these [allegedly offensive posters], not only would we have removed them, but believe that the multitudes who marched with us under our national flag would not have tolerated these."

Law enforcement agencies estimate that 20 000 people took part in the anti-Zuma march to the Union Buildings on Friday.

“Zuma's remarks indicate that he has seen the images and footage from the marches by tens of thousands of South Africans, and we hope he will have noticed that by far the vast majority of posters had one clear message – and that was to tell him he must get out of office now,” Save SA said.

Save SA describes itself as a campaign made up of organisations, civil society groups, business leaders, prominent individuals and South African citizens to keep government leaders accountable to the Constitution.