Zuma unveils monument where he was arrested in 1963, opposition protests

South African President Jacob Zuma has faced criticism over a new silver monument he unveiled on Wednesday at the Groot Marico Heritage Site in the North West province of the country.

The monument named The Site of Arrest is reported to cost 1.8 million South African Rand (US$132,080) and the main opposition Democratic Alliance party says the money can be used to develop the area.

The monument was erected at the site on the Liberation Heritage Route where the president and 51 others were arrested in 1963 by the apartheid police as they headed to Botswana for military training against the regime.

While the unveiling was ongoing, the opposition supporters in the province demonstrated carrying placards expressing their displeasure with the monument’s cost. They described it as the monument of corruption.

We reject the capture of our country by the rich and the corrupt. We want real change. We need a new government that is committed to our nation’s new struggle – the struggle for access to jobs.

The leader of the party Mmusi Maimane took part in another march in Johannesburg on Thursday against State Capture and corruption.

“We want this State Capture commission set up. We want to see a minimum sentence of 15yrs for corruption! Jacob Zuma and his ANC have been willingly captured by the Gupta family,” he told the media as they marched close to the mansion of the wealthy Gupta family who are linked to the president.

“We reject the capture of our country by the rich and the corrupt. We want real change. We need a new government that is committed to our nation’s new struggle – the struggle for access to jobs,” he added.

Maimane said Jacob Zuma had fought for freedom in the past but are now caught under the influence of private interests.

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