South Africans gather for nationwide protests against Zuma

South Africans are gathering for nationwide demonstrations against President Jacob Zuma, whose dismissal of the finance minister fueled concerns over government corruption and economic weakness.

Protesters planned marches Friday in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and other major cities to push for the resignation of the scandal-tainted Zuma, who for now retains the support of a ruling party facing an internal revolt against the president.

A protest march is expected to pass near the headquarters of the ruling African National Congress in downtown Johannesburg. ANC members in military uniforms who oppose the protest are posted outside.

The government is appealing for calm and warning people to refrain from violence.

Pravin Gordhan, fired as finance minister in a late-night Cabinet reshuffle a week ago, was widely respected for his anti-corruption stance.