News Brief

#ZumaMustFall: South Africans Take to the Streets In Protest

South African in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria are gathering for anti-Zuma protests.

South Africans across the country have gathered in the streets today to protest corruption and demand the resignation of President Jacob Zuma.


Demonstrations are taking place in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria, following last month's cabinet reshuffle, in which the president fired nine members of his cabinet including, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. His actions put further strain on South Africa's economy, relegating the country's credit to "junk status."

Protesters made plans to gather near the ANC's headquarters in Johannesburg, leading to increased police presence in the area. Crowds also met at the compound owned by the wealthy Gupta family, who maintain ties to the president.

BBC reports, that police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters during one of the demonstrations in Johannesburg.

Others have assembled in Church Square in the capital city, Pretoria.

Not everyone who believes that #ZumaMustFall are supporting the protests, however. Many Black South Africans, question the movement's authenticity, and have accused white participants of co-opting the protest in an attempt to save face.

It seems that despite widespread opposition, Zuma still maintains a fair share of supporters. Members of the ANC party's youth wing also gathered outside its headquarters at Luthuli House to shield it from protestors. Others have expressed support for what they believe are the president's plans for "radical socio-economic" change, reports the BBC.

Earlier this week, Zuma dodged a request from allied parties to step down from power.

Interview

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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