JOHANNESBURG – A massive “Zuma must fall” banner draped down the side of a Cape Town building has raised the ire of Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Mzwandile Masina.
Speaking at a send-off on Friday evening for 19 students funded by President Jacob Zuma’s education foundation to study in Nigeria, Masina accused those responsible for putting up the massive banner of being racists.
“Those few individuals who continue to be racist to the point that they have monies, [which] instead of supporting students, insult the leader of the republic. We want to warn them that our patience is running out.”
Masina was introducing Zuma to the guests of the Jacob G Zuma Foundation at Dube House in Durban when he made the comments.
“I want to issue a very strong warning to those racists in Cape Town who are putting up boards undermining democracy that we have fought for. I want to say to them the anger of South Africans is building up to the point that it is boiling. And if they are not careful, they will go down in history to have caused the tensions that are unnecessary,” he said.
Zuma, who listened to Masina’s comments with his eyes closed, later made no mention of the banner during his speech and was in his usual jovial mood.
The call for Zuma to leave office, which became a rallying cry some way through the student protests over university fees late last year — was written in bold black letters on a plain white background on the billboard on the Overbeek block of flats at the top end of Long Street.
Earlier on Friday, the Democratic Alliance, which holds political control of Cape Town and the Western Cape, denied that it had any hand in the board going up.
Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema told ANA he did not know who was responsible for the billboard but applauded the sentiment.
City of Cape Town council spokeswoman Priya Reddy said the matter of the billboard had been handed to prosecutors on the basis not of its content but the fact that it was bigger than both local by-laws and national legislation allowed.
Social media ha mixed reactions to the billboard with other applauding the sentiment and other changing the contents of the billboard to read “Give Back Our Land.”
If you did not vote for Zuma to be your president, you didn't put him power and therefore you won't remove him. #BringBackOurLand— 06 Feb #24 #Boom™ (@Sinethemba_S) January 16, 2016
Come to think of it, if all of my followers were to donate R100 each we would be able to put u a huge banner in Sandton "#BringBackOurLand"— Zulu thug (dealer) (@ZwanePercy) January 15, 2016
Watch the video above to see the event in which Masina made the statement.
African News Agency