Leaders of numerous political parties lead a protest from Pretoria central to Union Buildings. The protest is called National Day of Action. Photo: ANA

Refilwe resident Nelly Mabiya said it was impossible for anyone with any common sense not to see that President Jacob Zuma had to be removed immediately before he caused anymore harm to the country.

"This has nothing to do with which party you belong to; we are all affected by one man's selfish greed," she said.

Rethabile Barnes from Rabbie Ridge said if the youth don't take their stance like their 1976 peers did, they would have no future.

"They made their mark and we have all been benefiting from their courageous actions. Nothing is stopping us from doing the same thing."

"They cracked the foundation of an entire government system how can we not manage to get rid of one man," said Barnes.

"We don't want a party representative posing as a president thinking only of himself and his friends, we want a president first and foremost," added Sunnyside resident Kamogelo Tsitsi.

Marchers gathered around the square and most parts of the city center dancing while carrying off coffins with pictures of the president's demise following the march.

Some shops along Madiba Street also continued to operate with partly open doors with security guards at entrances on high alert.

Leaders of opposition political parties at the National Day of Action pulled no punches when they spewed attacks against President Jacob Zuma.

At the public addresses at the Church Square ahead of the march, the parties leaders were unanimous in their call for Zuma to resign with immediate effect.

Mkhuleko Hlengwa, chairperson of the IFP Youth Brigade pleaded with Zuma to find his conscience by listening to calls by people to resign.

"We are not going to be a disaster because of one man. Mr Zuma we are giving you a red card; pack your bags and go."

Themba Masango, member of #SaveSA said: "As civil society we are here today in support of all our political parties. We may not agree on ideologies but we agree on one thing that Zuma must go and Zuma must go today."

Nelson Doctor, president of the newly-formed party called Shosholosa Progressive Movement said: "We can offer a peaceful exit for Zuma. He must resign within 72 hours otherwise we South Africans are going to push him out of office."

Nqabayomzi Kwankwa, deputy president of the UDM said:"Many of them thought we were bluffing when we said we were going to march today.

"Many thought we were making an empty threats when we said South Africans are fed up with Zuma. That we have come out in numbers to show them that people are fed up is clear to Jacob Zuma that we are coming for him (because) his days are numbered."

Mosioua Lekota, leader of the Cope, said: "We are here to make a very strong statement that no one can govern our country unless they base themselves upon the will of the people of this country. Therefore because Zuma has never respected the Constitution of our country, he must give way."

Floyd Shivambu, deputy president of EFF, applauded UDM leader Bantu Holomisa for initiating court action to compel the Parliament Speaker Baleka Mbete to allow members of Parliament to use secret ballots.

Holomisa filed an application at the Constitutional Court ahead of April 18 when a motion of no confidence against Zuma would be brought to Parliament.

Shivambu said: "They know that once we have got the secret ballot, some of those cowards who are scared to lose their salaries are going to vote in their numbers to remove Jacob Zuma because a bigger number number of them is beginning to appreciate that we must put our country first."

He said political parties have gathered together because they were putting South Africa first.

"The fact of the matter is that the capital city of South Africa now is Saxonwold where the Guptas come from. And we must bring that down today. We must reclaim the power of the people when we go to the Union Buildings."

"We must take that power and give it to the people because we can not continue to be led by criminals. The fact of the matter is that Jacob Zuma is running a criminal state."

The marchers are now on their way to the Union Buildings where they will gather at the lawns.

Pretoria News