The police on Friday fired rubber bullets and tear gas at some protesters in downtown Johannesburg, injuring a man and a woman, as thousands of people marched in South African cities to protest against President Jacob Zuma.
The opposition Democratic Alliance, DA, party, which called for the marches, held a rally of more than 10,000 people in another part of Johannesburg which was calm.
Thousands marched in major South African cities to protest against Mr. Zuma, demanding he quit after a cabinet reshuffle triggered the latest crisis of his presidency.
Zuma’s sacking of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in the reshuffle last Thursday has outraged allies and opponents alike, undermined his authority and caused rifts in the ruling African National Congress, ANC, which has governed South Africa since the end of white-minority rule in 1994.
In the country’s commercial hub, Johannesburg, several residents stood along the roads, waving placards demanding that Mr. Zuma step down.
Mmusi Maimane, leader of the DA party, was due to lead a march in downtown Johannesburg, where thousands of marchers wearing blue DA T-shirts gathered to start the march, with many bussed in from other areas.
Some held placards saying “Fire Zuma”.
“This president is mishandling the presidency and he should leave office,” said Graham Fish, 62.
A “holding hands” picket was due to take place in Cape Town, where motorists hooted in support of the march holding up South African flags.
About 2,000 people were also marching in coastal city of Durban.