When Lindsey Schutters (@SharpSchutters) tweeted: “My Christmas wish is for Zuma to fall before the rand gets worse. #ZumaMustFall” at around 11:23 on Wednesday morning, one can only assume he was not aware of the news that would send the country into a spin of confusion that night.
Then, just after 20:00 on Wednesday, President Jacob Zuma released a statement saying he had made changes to Cabinet’s finance portfolio. Nhlanhla Nene would no longer be the country’s finance minister and would be replaced by MP David van Rooyen.
“I have decided to remove Mr Nhlanhla Nene as Minister of Finance, ahead of his deployment to another strategic position.”
Since the announcement, Twitter, along with other media platforms, has been abuzz with South Africans commenting on the news, using the hashtag #ZumaMustFall to vent.
When journalist Mandy Wiener tweeted the news on Wednesday night, Nana Phiri (@nleopeng) tweeted: “Wow! Because he stood against the first girlfriend? Wow! #zumamustfall.”
Many said Zuma’s decision was not acting in the country’s favour.
Bongani (@Comm_Bobo) said: “It is obvious that Zuma hates us. Zuma has never shown any love for this country. #ZumaMustFall.”
Jackie Marumo (@jacksonmarumo) said: After #reshufling of #nene, its time 2call on those who hav sober minds in #Anc 2say #Zumamustfall instead of protecting him with their bums.”
Michael Charton (@Michael_Charton) put it simply. “#zumamustfall Quickly now.”
Well-known South African figures also took to Twitter to express their frustration.
Anti-tolling group Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance’s (Outa) founder Wayne Duvenage (@wayneduv), said: “Will big business now wake up and stand up and tell Zuma, the tax revolt begins. #ZumaMustFall.”
He added: “Zuma’s arrogance and pathetic leadership decision to remove Nene must now surely catalyze the #ZumaMustFall drive. Idiotic.”
Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) said: “In conclusion: it’s time that we fire Jacob Zuma. #ZumaMustFall”
Others have used the platform to call South Africans to action.
Simphiwe Zulu (@Leo_IsMyName) told 702’s John Robbie: “@702johnrobbie Our continuous disappointment in the ANC should be reflected in next year’s municipal elections #ZumaMustFall.”
Johann Gerber (@JohannGerber80) said: “As citizens of this country we can still save it, but we need to stand together #ZumaMustFall #RSA”
Stu Pen Dis (@StueyMax) said: “Stop tweeting #ZumaMustFall. Vote for him to fall.”
“If students cld do #FeesMustFall, y cant da country b on some #ZumaMustFall campaign? Surely if da country is shutdown somethin wll happen?” (sic) wrote Malekobane (@debbiDBR).
Amil Umraw (@Amil_Umraw) said: “Today we rant on Twitter, tomorrow we forget. A tyrant is only as powerful as the inaction of his people allow him to be. #ZumaMustFall.”
Yet, some expressed a hesitance at the calls to action. Royal Savage (@Martiias) said: “Imagine if we had a #ZumaMustFall protest, The Police will probably go Marikana on us..”