Times LIVE readers respond to Gareth Cliff

20 October 2010 - 16:16 By Times LIVE

Radio DJ Gareth Cliff wrote a scathing open letter attacking Jacob Zuma and the ANC government - and our readers have responded.

The reactions were mixed, from those like ThembaM saying that "Cliff just posted what we always post here on his site. However given his position on 5fm and M-net I don't think it was wise of him to bring it down to a personal level as he did with Blade, even with Zuma's kids out of wedlock and Manto. He should have stuck to the facts they(media) uncover everyday as he says."

While others disagreed, saying that the insults added to the likelyhood that the letter may at least get read, as Mommacyndi put it: "They really don't mind being told they are not performing but they may even bother to read the letter if it insults them personally. Just ask the teletubbie (Julius Malema) how well that tactic works."

Busman didn't see much respect in the government's behaviour: "To all those who say Cliff is being disrespectful to the presidency and others in government, it is the latter who are disrespectful to : themselves, the honoured positions they hold, their hefty responsibilities, basic morality, hard won freedoms and , not least, you and I. "

Accusations of racism fell flat, with several readers expressing irritation at it as a cheap dodge. Manakak1 expressed this by saying: "The thing that grates me most about black people is how quick they are to pull out the race card (and I am black, before someone accuses me of being a racist)."

Meanwhile k'hallawaya highlighted frustration with how little progress has been made since 1994 "Every day we pass by or live in decrepit shacks, where misery is king. It has not changed one single frenching bit since and before 1994. They have multiplied rather, and with it the lack of services and utilities, which were present and available for everyone, even if defective."

Readers voting on our poll largely agreed with the letter, with 37% saying it was much needed tough talk, and 36% expressing their agreement. Only 16% thought it was a white racist whining, and 11% thought the insults wrecked it.

Cliff's notes

Gareth Cliff's letter started out by pointing out President Zuma's illegitimate children, calling Blade Nzimande ugly, and criticising how people related to the government seem to get rich very quickly.

He then went on to tackle issues such as the media tribunal, education, black economic empowerment, inter-departmental power struggles and the renaming of streets.

He did give the government half credit for the Fifa World Cup, but pointed out how badly things seem to have gone since then.

Presidential spokesman Zizi Kodwa has requested a meeting with the DJ, while Blade Nzimande's chief of staff, Nqaba Nqandela, said: "Please note that Minister Nzimande is not going to dignify these rantings of a racist with a response."

>>To read the original letter, click here

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