South African President Jacob Zuma branded protesters "racist" in reference to placards at demonstrations against him that allegedly depicted blacks in a derogatory way.
Thousands of people marked the 75th birthday of President Jacob Zuma with a protest in the country's administrative capital Pretoria on Wednesday.
Protesters called for the resignation of Zuma because of scandals and his dismissal of a widely respected finance minister.
"Take a permanent holiday!" said one protest sign mockingly wishing a happy birthday to Zuma.
Wednesday's march outside the Union Buildings was organised by the country's opposition parties following earlier nationwide protests against Zuma last week.
Zuma said on Monday that many white demonstrators calling for his resignation are racist, referring to placards at demonstrations against him that allegedly depicted blacks in a derogatory way.
Zuma's dismissal of Pravin Gordhan as finance minister intensified concerns about graft and the struggling economy in South Africa. Some top ruling party leaders openly criticised the decision.
TRT World's Lynsey Chutel reports from Pretoria.