PRETORIA, April 12 (Xinhua) -- Thousands from South Africa's opposition parties converged in Pretoria on Wednesday to protest against President Jacob Zuma.
Zuma invited much controversy after he sacked Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan amid a sudden cabinet reshuffle, leading to international rating agencies downgrading the country's status to junk and a free fall of the South African rand.
The axing also came amid economic slowdown and high unemployment, which the public wants be addressed.
Among the demonstrators were members of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and of the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA). Heavily armed police were seen at the protest site.
Addressing his supporters, leader of the EFF Julius Malema said they came out in large numbers to "sent a strong message."
Meanwhile, the president is expected to have another battle of no-confidence vote next Tuesday.
The president has survived two rounds of no-confidence votes by virtue of the ruling party African National Congress (ANC) being the majority in the parliament.
Zuma is expected to step down in December as leader of ANC and many in his party are already canvassing for support to take over from him. Among them are his former wife and ex- African Union Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.