Africa

South African government warns against illegal protests

  • FILE -- In this Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 file photo, South African President Jacob Zuma, right, alongside deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, left, outside parliament at the State of the Nation address in Cape Town, South Africa. Ramaphosa this weekend called for his countrymen to get rid of "greedy" and "corrupt" people, in remarks seen as an attack on Zuma. Ramaphosa was speaking after Zuma fired widely respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan in a cabinet reshuffle last week in which he purged other political opponents. (AP Photo/Nic Bothma, Pool, File)

    FILE -- In this Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 file photo, South African President Jacob Zuma, right, alongside deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, left, outside parliament at the State of the Nation address in Cape Town, South Africa. Ramaphosa this weekend called for his countrymen to get rid of "greedy" and "corrupt" people, in remarks seen as an attack on Zuma. Ramaphosa was speaking after Zuma fired widely respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan in a cabinet reshuffle last week in which he purged other political opponents. (AP Photo/Nic Bothma, Pool, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • A worker at the  Stock Exchange in Johannesburg, South Africa uses his mobile phone Tuesday, April 4, 2017. South Africa's rand tumbled Monday after Standard & Poor's, a credit ratings agency, lowered the country to below investment grade, citing political instability and threats to economic growth. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

    A worker at the Stock Exchange in Johannesburg, South Africa uses his mobile phone Tuesday, April 4, 2017. South Africa's rand tumbled Monday after Standard & Poor's, a credit ratings agency, lowered the country to below investment grade, citing political instability and threats to economic growth. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)  (The Associated Press)

  • A local television station broadcasts live outside the Stock Exchange  in Johannesburg South Africa Tuesday, April 4, 2017. South Africa's rand tumbled Monday after Standard & Poor's, a credit ratings agency, lowered the country to below investment grade, citing political instability and threats to economic growth. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

    A local television station broadcasts live outside the Stock Exchange in Johannesburg South Africa Tuesday, April 4, 2017. South Africa's rand tumbled Monday after Standard & Poor's, a credit ratings agency, lowered the country to below investment grade, citing political instability and threats to economic growth. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)  (The Associated Press)

The South African government says social media calls to hold protests against President Jacob Zuma on Friday are designed to damage the country's image and economy.

The government on Monday evening referred to messages that it says have called for a "shutdown of the country," and warned against any illegal protests that could lead to violence and destruction of property.

Several groups plan to demonstrate in the coming week to protest Zuma's dismissal of the finance minister in a Cabinet reshuffle that increased concerns about government graft and ruling party infighting. The main opposition party plans a Friday march in Johannesburg.

South Africa's rand tumbled Monday after Standard & Poor's, a credit ratings agency, lowered the country to below investment grade, citing political instability and threats to economic growth.