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Calm urged in South Africa ahead of protests against president

South Africa's ruling party has said it is concerned about reports of "sporadic violence and intimidation" ahead of planned protests against the country's president on Friday.

The ruling African National Congress appealed for calm during the demonstrations and said it is concerned about reports of people seeking to take up weapons in its name.

A group called Save South Africa, which opposes President Jacob Zuma, said some of its supporters were attacked in the capital, Pretoria, on Wednesday night. It said there were no injuries.

The group alleges that some of the attackers are linked to the ruling party.

Mr Zuma sparked national uproar last week when he dismissed the finance minister, who was widely regarded as an effective steward of the economy.

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