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IN QUOTES | Gareth Cliff's open letter to Ramaphosa divides SA

04 May 2020 - 13:13 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Gareth Cliff's open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa divides SA.
Gareth Cliff's open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa divides SA.
Image: Supplied

Controversial radio personality Gareth Cliff's open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa about the Covid-19 nationwide lockdown has left many talking.

In the latter to Ramaphosa, the former Idols SA judge told the president how South Africans were concerned about the havoc the lockdown was causing to the “economy, on people’s lives and livelihoods”. 

Cliff also said “many of us” were not “afraid of the virus any more”.

Here are five quotes that poked the beast out of many South Africans.

Afraid of the havoc

“South Africans are mostly compliant — but when you promise something and then break that promise, it makes us feel like we should break your regulations in return.

“Many of us aren’t afraid of the virus any more. It’s our health and we’ll take our chances, thank you. We are afraid of the havoc your lockdown is wreaking on the economy, on people’s lives and livelihoods.”

Giving the middle finger

“I’m not a smoker — I don’t like cigarettes at all — but when Minister Dlamini-Zuma announced that she was (after a consultation none of us believe happened) going to keep the ban on tobacco products in place, many of us (even the non-smokers) were ready to give her the middle finger — and start risking breaking the rules.”

More citizens than law enforcement

“There are more of us than there are police officers and soldiers, so if you piss enough people off, things get very hairy. I’m sure those advisers in the security cluster have mentioned that they can’t shoot us all or put us all in jail.”

Power of the people

“Our patience grows thin, and in tandem your tax collection runs dry. When you speak of a social compact, it goes both ways. You have to take your boot off our throats.”

Moses comparison

“When Moses told Pharaoh to let his people go, Pharaoh didn’t listen and there were plagues. We all know how that story went for Pharaoh. You have to start letting our people go Mr President, or this plague will be the least of our worries. Even Moses could tell you that.”

Read the full open letter below

Our website crashed earlier so if the link didn’t load when you clicked on the last post....... Dear President...

Posted by Gareth Cliff on Thursday, April 30, 2020


Cliff's letter sparked an outcry on social media, as many did not share his sentiments.

Many slammed him for speaking on behalf of “us”.

ANC MP Faiez Jacobs, in a YouTube video, said: “You have some nerve to raise concerns on behalf of the poor, to compare yourself to Moses. You’re more like a Trump wannabe, a crybaby seeking attention. You are selfish and reckless.”

Here is a snapshot of what people on social media had to say.