Troops deploy to protect South African president’s speech
JOHANNESBURG: South African police and military forces are deploying ahead of a speech in parliament by President Jacob Zuma, the target of protesters who say he should quit because of corruption allegations.
Zuma will give an annual address on the economy and other matters of national importance Thursday evening. He is a politically weakened figure who has faced calls to resign even from factions of the ruling African National Congress party.
Critics have condemned an announcement by Zuma’s office that the military would assist police in maintaining order in Cape Town’s streets during the speech and the opening of parliament. The large deployment of troops is unusual.
Some past protests outside parliament have turned violent, and members of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party have often interrupted Zuma in the chamber.