JOHANNESBURG – 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.