A South African judge has ruled a report over alleged influence peddling in government be released, after President Jacob Zuma dropped a court bid to delay its publication and thousands marched against him.
Police fired stun grenades and used water cannon to disperse demonstrators had marched to the Union Buildings, the seat of government where Zuma's offices are located in the capital Pretoria. Outside the court hearing the case of whether to release the report, protesters carried "Zuma must go" placards.
The report by the Public Protector, a constitutionally mandated anti-graft official, looks into allegations of corruption that have brought on the biggest crisis of Zuma's presidency, costing him support within the ruling party.
Zuma denies providing special favours for wealthy friends, including three brothers who also deny wrongdoing. The report's publication had been halted on October 14 after Zuma appealed to the High Court to block it.
"The public protector is ordered to publish the report forthwith and by no later than 1700 on 2 November, 2016," Judge Dunstan Mlambo said to applause in court.
Zuma's spokesman said in a statement: "In the interest of justice and speedy resolution of the matter, the president decided to withdraw his application.
"The president will give consideration to the contents of the report in order to ascertain whether it should be a subject of a court challenge."
In a sign of the country's establishment turning sharply against Zuma, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, a charity founded by South Africa's first black president, blamed Zuma on Tuesday for the "wheels coming off" South Africa.
About 40 CEOs of mostly listed companies have joined in calls for new political leadership. Among companies coming forward were technology investment firm Naspers, Africa's biggest company by market value, Standard Bank, the continent's biggest bank by assets, and Telkom , the partially-privatised former telecoms monopoly.
Outside the court, opposition leaders said Zuma, who has shown no signs of stepping down before his second and final term as president is up in 2019, should leave office now.
"We don't want Zuma, he has no credibility," said Julius Malema, leader of the radical leftist party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) who called for Wednesday's marches as a show of force against Zuma, told a cheering crowd of supporters dressed in red party T-shirts.
"Jacob Zuma is unfit to hold office," Mmusi Maimane, the leader of the main opposition Democratic Alliance party said.