Dear President Ramaphosa,

I’m going to keep this brief, because I know you’re dealing with a lot:

We’ve all been ready to support you and your administration in your efforts to save lives from this pandemic. Even people like me, who have questioned the idea of a lockdown as the best response have decided to comply and do whatever we could to help. We set aside our concerns over the heavy-handedness of the police and army; we swallowed and accepted that poor people in informal housing would be crammed into their one-room dwellings for a month; we limited our trips to the shops and even accepted not being able to buy hot food (for whatever inexplicable reason).

When you couldn’t put your mask on we laughed and we were charmed to see that you were able to laugh at yourself too. For a time you won everyone over again. You yourself have said that it has taken much for people to give up their liberties, their right to be with family and friends and the ability to move freely around. Our patience and emotional state of affairs are on a knife-edge. We are losing hope.

Governments walk a fine line in times like these, where the regulations not only have to make sense, but also have to have significant buy-in from the public – otherwise people will break them, in big ways and small. 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 anymore. 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. I see fewer and fewer explanations from ministers and more and more capricious, some would say spiteful, regulation. 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. 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.

Your government, Sir, have not covered themselves in glory over the last 10 years. Some people in this country already have a taste of anarchy, where municipalities are bankrupt and there is no service delivery. They see no evidence that the ANC will fix parastatals, cronyism, kleptocracy and for once and for all cease their childish flirtation with outdated and failed socialist ideas. Your hold on power depends on people willing to comply with the rules – the same rules they expect you to comply with. 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.

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.

Yours,

 

Dear Mr President…

262 Comments

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    • Michael Dorsamy
      Reply

      I agree with Garrett, it’s hard to pay rent and buy food and I have applied for U.I.F on the 23rd of March and up to date no food parcels or my U.I.F received

    • Brandon
      Reply

      I did not want to comment on this letter the day I’ve read it… But let me start by saying that for once I am proud to have a president of principal, dignity and let’s not forget intelligent. He has made this decision not because he felt like, he did it for the people of this country… We should all appreciate that our president has chosen his people of South Africa rather than the economy. It is so disappointing that so many people disrespect the president and his decisions in this trying times. Some people like Gareth believes he knows better than the president… This is the reason why you are a radio host for 3 hours a day. Don’t take it personally but I feel your so called letter made sense to about 5% of your followers. This lockdown is difficult for everyone. By you writing this letter just causes a stir on social media and get people worked up… Come on Gareth…

      • Natasha
        Reply

        Absolutely agree… feel like Gareth is trying put himself in the spotlight to be relevant… I mean, what qualifies him to have an opinion worthy of the president of our country, about national healthcare or the economy?

    • Carlos Viana
      Reply

      I wish the President would read this. The pressure he is under is irrational and defenitly not for good. I wiil pray more for him.

    • Tilisha
      Reply

      Gareth, in his letter and his response to the backlash, comes across as elitist, condescending and frankly, arrogant. In his response to the backlash, he said he is speaking on behalf of the people of South Africa and that he doesn’t have a master (insulting to people whose recent history included slavery and have suffered economic oppression as a result) or need government handouts, he’s got enough blah blah blah… Well Gareth you do NOT speak on my behalf… And I think that’s presumptuous of you.

      These were also pretty reckless and irresponsible comments for someone who presumes to have the authority to speak on behalf of all, or even most, South Africans:

      “It’s our health and we’ll take our chances, thank you.”

      “I’m sure those advisers in the security cluster have mentioned that they can’t shoot us all or put us all in jail.”

      “You have to start letting our people go Mr President, or this plague will be the least of our worries.”

      And as for the “Even Moses could tell you that”:
      2 months in our homes to slow the spread of an airborne virus with no vaccine can hardly be compared to slavery or 40 years in the desert.

  • Shannon
    Reply

    I couldn’t agree with you more!! I just wish he would take control of his ministers and make things right! Peoples emotional state is definitely on a knife edge

  • Piet
    Reply

    This is a very difficult if not impossible choice to make, if you have to make it on behalf of someone else. Only the benefit of hindsight would truly have allowed allow to make the correct call today. Me, I’ll take my chances though . . .

  • Linn
    Reply

    Good grief, if only they would actually heed many wise words spoken, by hundreds of honest citizens of every race. What a brilliant rainbow nation it would be. It is a sad state of affairs, indeed!

  • Debbie
    Reply

    Well said Removal companies can’t trade so staff not earning as no incom
    e but so many people worry about sale of achole and take away food. No income no money to by any take away or booze or cigarettes.

  • Susan
    Reply

    Syd Vicious was innocent! Anarchy for peace! Anarchy for peace and security and justice! Fuck this ludicrous behaviour!

  • Sarel Martins
    Reply

    Explain this Mr President, how can people be stopped from smoking, and use social distancing as the reason, but they are allowed the purchase of condoms? I would love to see how they social distance while bumping nasties???

  • Anita Mc Intyre
    Reply

    I feel that the ANC has infringed in my constitutional right , freedom of choice. And yes I will be using the black market not that I want to but being forced to do so. I have lost all respect, trust and support in our government.

  • Lariska Jacobs
    Reply

    Bravo! I could not have said it any better! I am one of the pissed off non smokers! Gat vol verby!

  • Previn
    Reply

    Spot On! “There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.” ~ Baron de Montesquieu

  • Hester
    Reply

    Thank you Gareth. My motto in life is I have to die of something in any way and I have COPD. Am I scared? No I’m not. My life and my choice to be a smoker. Is the cigarette ban because of underlying conditions like COPD the only one affecting the death toll? What about the approximately 53% of the population that have hypertension? Or the 3.5 miilion diabetics or 5-6 million with pre-diabetes? These being risk factors when contracting the virus. I don’t see anything reported by the ministers that they going to ban all the food and sweets and cooldrinks that are bad for these underlying conditions as well? In fact most people are gaining weight now because they only sit, eat and having soft drinks. And obesity is the highest risk factor for death when contracting the corona virus according to worldobesity. We also know that one bottle of coke for instance gets shared by different people sometimes. How does government control this way of spreading the virus? Just asking……I want my cigarettes back please.

  • Peter Bouwer
    Reply

    Well Said. He also needs to understand that to get the real economy to work again, he MUST DROP the RACIST B-BBEE policy they have and continue to implement. They have had almost 3 decades to look after there own agendas. As a company we could contribute a lot more to the economy if we could appoint the right person for the job and not have to build a smokescreen to comply. APARTHEID was disgusting and wrong and so is B-BBEE.

  • Charlene
    Reply

    Completely agree. I am trying to figure up what more we can do to be taken seriously and to change this around.

  • Simon
    Reply

    Awesome response. I have been telling my friends the same for ages … beware the sleeping giant.

  • wayne
    Reply

    Way to go Gareth I’m up for anything logical but treat me like a child and I with the majority of sensible South Africans are going to get hacked off

  • Marius
    Reply

    Just two problems. Most in givernment cannot read, and the onesnlike ramaposa that can, just dont care a shit. But well said anyway

  • Mickey Friedenthal
    Reply

    I agree 100%, And if a promise that our President ,is Been break , How can a person trust the next”promise” From our President.Just my point of view,

  • Justin
    Reply

    They should lift the ban on sale of tabbaco .. it’s cruel..some are heavy smokers who have had to limit themselves and others going mad cause they can’t or don’t have..smokers won’t be sharing knowing the spread of this virus..i don’t smoke any more and don’t like cigarettes at all but I do feel for those who do..out of millions there was a measly 2000 people against tabacco sale.. people need to stop thinking of themselves.

  • George
    Reply

    The gov’t vacillates & lauds it over us with officiousness. I hate my wife smoking, but I hate what your COGTA Minster is doing more!

  • Annelize
    Reply

    Please please could you get this speech on national television and every radio station. Mr Ramaposa needs to hear this every South African needs to hear this. Thank you

  • Deborah-Lee Marr
    Reply

    Good morning, I am a South African stuck in Jamaica, with my son. I write this to you in tears.

    I contacted the SA High Commission here in Jamaica at the beginning of April, seeking assistance to get back home, as our flights had been cancelled. We were due to fly home on the 15th April.

    2 days ago, I got an email from the High Commission, informing us that a repatriation flight had been arranged, from Washington Dulles, on the 4th May. My son and i got so excited we could barely breath. We ran around getting everything ready and even spent money that I don’t actually have to get documents printed for our signature, and then scanned for return to the high Commission, this also meant breaking our own lockdown, to go to a print shop in town.

    You see, I very wrongly assumed that all arrangements had been made, like getting those stuck in the Caribbean to Washington, for said repatriation flight. That the transit visa issue would have been arranged in some manner that did not expect me to apply for a Visa through “normal” channels, that no longer exist in these very “Un-normal times.

    The most heartbreaking moment for me was my moment of realization, that we weren’t actually going home, and that moment happened, when the staff members of the high Commission called me, to find out if My travel agent could book a flight from Jamaica to Washington. Because they couldn’t find a way there…..

    In a time, were all airlines are grounded, airports are closed, immigration offices, embassies, consulates and high Commissions are running on skeleton staff, if at all….I was asked to make my own flight arrangements and visa applications to get a repatriation flight 😭🤦‍♀️

    I am fast running out of money and the roof over my head is not guaranteed. Jamaica is facing imminent crises and my son and I need to get home.

    Please can someone help us

  • Derek Golding
    Reply

    Great job Gareth. Thankyou for your diplomacy addressing the President but also your convictions to “Tell it like it is” Truth will Triumph & Righteous will reign

  • Branson
    Reply

    I am a huge fan, but disappointed in this one. Bheki Cele and his alcohol ban, incomoetence showing vibrators, sit before you get jn the taxi and all that ither crap that these ferrel heathens fumble about doing.
    Go for the jugular and hand deliver. Fuck him he is paying lipservice, and it annoys me that people make him out to be a superhero. He is just another ANC crony.

    And lets not forget that racism still is in full effect, with relief grants going to blacks only.

  • Karen
    Reply

    Well said. The mood is shifting fast on this one and President Ramaphosa needs to be sensitive to how South Africans are feeling,

  • Emkay
    Reply

    Oh grow up Gareth. Only critique, why don’t you come up with the suggestions. What variable changed since you praised him for his desicion, more people have only died. Today they opened things up slowly, and they have had time to prepare makeshift hospitals. Are you really so impatient that you cannot stay 1 month indoors? And wtf is such a big deal with no cigarettes for a while longer, it’s for everyone’s health. People are out, work is starting up again, and the state is prepared for the build up to peak. I live in Netherlands and he inspires me to return! Here they took it all lightly, and people are dying in masses. Can go u imagine that in the townships, with alcohol and cigarettes and no preparation. Don’t be like a spoilt boy who can’t do without his woolworths warm meal for 1 month.

  • Neri Credo
    Reply

    You SHOULD be very afraid of this virus. It is a terrible disease and many people are suffering and dying – even young people. In addition, those who don’t care about getting it don’t realise how serious it is but over and above that, they are passing it on to other people, many of whom are vulnerable and risk death. If this virus is allowed to run rampant the hospitals will be overwhelmed and then many more people will die. Food shortages will occur because factory and farm workers will not be able to go to work because they are sick. This already happening in the USA and Europe. There are many other negative effects which become a cascading chain reaction. If lockdown is lifted too early it will have to be reinstated or we will never get a grip on this virus. I think the government is being very sensible in their approach and you should learn from other countries. South Africa is still in the early stages of the virus. I live in the UK and I am seeing the tragedies being caused and the consequences of not following government recommendations. I realise the effect this is having on poor people as lockdown, for them, means no food but if you allow the virus to spread they will have no food anyway. Society will fall apart unless we can get a grip on the spread of the virus until we have a vaccine. I am not saying that we should remain in lockdown until then but the situation must be well under control and the trends should be moving steadily and lastingly downwards before restrictions are lifted.

  • Melanie
    Reply

    Thanks Gareth…. how can we ensure that he gets this message. Im sure he is not reading media messages like us. We will have to get it directly to him.

  • Michael Frankfort
    Reply

    Surely there are more pressing issues to be whinning about than this. So your issue is cigarettes. This virus is bigger than you, while I can say go ahead and do what you must, the problem with that is your behaviour could spread the virus to others, that is where personal freedom ends my friend. Stop whinning, by the way, this president wasn’t there 10yrs ago unless you are one of those that think the party represents the individual, in which case many of you who voted the national party are as guilty of their atrocities…Move on and stop being obtuse

  • Ron van Breda
    Reply

    When will we all realize that “the power of the people is greater than the people in power” ?

  • Greg Robinson
    Reply

    Cliff. You should stick to playing music and leave the really hard stuff to the adults. Your entitled opinion is given with absolutely no scientific backing. Where are your models / projections? Do you actually think that you know more about Epidemiology and Economics than thousands of professional experts? You egotistical prick. For any celebrity, even a third grade one, to threaten the President and suggest that the public should not comply with regulations is completely unacceptable. You my friend are going to cost this country lives. By the way, these regulations have nothing to do with YOUR health and life, it has to do with others. Probably a concept that is very foreign to you. The Sun does not set when you sit down. FUCK YOU.

  • Russell Duminy
    Reply

    Gareth. How about championing the movement to have the Rupert BILLION Rand donation withdrawn. The BBBEEE threat to small white SMME’s and this tobacco sagga is a serious threat to us as a nation and our democracy. I can only ponder what is truly going on that they had to create such a massive attention deflection campaign – fucking cANCer bastards !!

  • Karel Vlok
    Reply

    Evening, are you not addressing the wrong politician, I thought he has not been in charge for some time now, if he ever was.

  • Mark
    Reply

    I couldn’t disagree more with your views Gareth. I’m all for freedom of speech and expression, but it must not be abused! The SA Government, in their wisdom, acted in the best interests of all South Africans. To save lives, particularly those who are considered to be more vulnerable for a variety of reasons! I can assure you that there is nothing sinister and/or untoward in the actions of our Government in how they have responded to the threat of COVID-19. The WHO singled out SA for the effective and innovative response to this threat, which resulted in the flattening of the curve. Clearly we are not yet out of the woods, and our efforts to contain this threat must continue. What we need right now is for all South Africans to unite and stand with our Government as we navigate these uncharted waters. The last thing we need is petty politics, “privileged innuendo” and people inciting violence. Let’s give credit where it’s due!

  • Lisa
    Reply

    This is not an awesome response. I am living in a country that is struggling with this virus and we have an incredible health care system. The threat of the collapse of this system is real, and how much more so in South Africa which just does not have the resources or infrastructure to deal with a pandemic. Saying that it’s ‘our health’ is a naive, selfish way of looking at it. What about our parents, grandparents, people with underlying health conditions. South Africa seems to have arrested the growth of this disease but don’t be complacent and think you’re better than it, it is vicious. And BME communities around the world are being affected the worst, it will devastate populations living in poverty. Open your eyes and see that SA is no exception to any other country, it will rip through it. Letters like these only serve to create division and incite irresponsible behaviour. People in positions of influence should think long and hard about their social responsibility before posting thinking they know better than doctors and scientists. Go serve on the front line before making self-righteous commentary.

  • Pam
    Reply

    Excellent read. Would be interesting to know if the puppet strings are being pulled from outside SA. Lockdown will not work here, ever.

  • Dave
    Reply

    Was Cyril INSTRUCTED to LOCK us DOWN in order to “forge on to a NEW WORLD ORDER”?

    The lockdown effectively crippled social gatherings … and the power of the Church. In the “Church vs State” power struggle, the State clearly wins…
    And “forges on” knowing that every church in the country regards NWO as “END TIMES”.

    Is CV a HOAX?
    If it isn’t, do the highly distorted NUMBERS (up to 2000% misrepresented, no matter how many cancer deaths, trauma deaths and natural causes deaths were used to distort them) still justify the daily crippling of our economy, forcing the Nation to be DEPENDENT ON THE STATE … which already CANNOT DELIVER.

    NWO: REFERENDUM PLEASE !!!

  • Ms Stokes
    Reply

    To Mr G Cliff.
    Congratulations on your life and successes, which I’ve always been a huge fan of. Until reading this message to our President, I really thought you had wisdom beyond your years and was always intrigued by your controversial stances. However, this is definitely utterly embarrassing, as a true Gareth Cliff fan. I can’t believe that such ignorance could seep through a respected public figure. I almost feel sorry for you. Seems like you have Donald Trump fever? Probably.
    Let me give you some perspective on my thoughts. The majority in our country are in no position to be making decisions about their health or well-being. Also, those, like yourself, who are classified as privileged, are probably not on the list of priorities right now for the President. I mean, I suppose you on the list, but somewhere at the bottom. You see, you CAN actually get into your car, and march over to Woolies and complain about, I don’t know, that there’s no tin roof ice-cream? Right? You CAN complain about digging into your third savings account to pay your car payment or maybe even for the latest renovation you just completed. You CAN talk to your friends/family via Skype or whatever network and get upset about why things are not transparent in our country and why things are not going the way you (and your Skype pals) predicted it would. You CAN do all these marvelous things and have a platform, a public platform, to stand together with the leadership of this country to ease the days and the hours of the people who cannot, and do not have. Instead of highlighting the negativity, rather highlight or coax up creative ideas on how we can help those who have no clue how they will buy electricity. Winter is around the corner. For those who don’t have wifi, a home phone, or even a biscuit to get information. Why don’t you, as a public figure, push the boundaries of your mind and assist our President in his ultimate goal. By being the strong links to bond our country together. Lets carry the weak, let’s get creative. Let’s do what we can to strengthen those who have naught during this time, with what we can. To be honest, I AM a nothing, I’m not on your level or neither on any one of your friends. I don’t have a university education or think that I’m made out of cotton candy. Although, I did read your message to my President and understood every word and absolutely appalled that you think, that he doesn’t know what he’s doing and requires your letter to change his mind or have an epiphany. In fact, exactly the same thing I’m doing to you. Quite unnecessary right?

    So I think and believe that you have what it takes, to persuade the sceptical to believe in “trust” again. Let’s trust our leader. He has shown nothing but superb composure, by tactfully softening a blow that could have been catastrophic for Our Nation. So here I am, as a respectful fan of your intellect, I am asking you to activate the mind again. Let’s start a positive wave of protecting our country.
    Thanks and God will Bless you. I promise you that He will.
    Regards

  • Kerry-Ann Scrase
    Reply

    Well said, I guess. But this is a moral/economical dilemma of note. I agree on the backtracking on tobacco – it dilutes trust and willingness to comply, creates the impression of disorganisation etc. My opinions on tobacco are irrelevant and I am worried about the economy. Very worried, but yes, I am not starving, so my worry is probably not as grave as those living in marginalised communities. HOWEVER, I am more scared of the virus now because while we open the economy we open the door for increased infections, increased hospital admissions, increased deaths. Deaths which will take bread winners, mothers, fathers away forever leaving families dependent on the state welfare which does not exist. I am not disagreeing with you about getting the economy going but I am questioning the ease with which so many people are simply overlooking the potential consequence of this move. I do not have the answers but as we all head outdoors to walk our dogs which have never been walked, and see neighbours exercising who last jogged when they were at school, let’s see how this virus spreads and when cases double and the death rate rises, please can you all at least refrain from then moaning and saying ‘more should have been done’ because really it is what you asked for. I have never hoped more that I am wrong because then despite the criticism, the past 5 weeks would have been worth it. But yes, let them have their smokes and have their haircut if it makes them happy!

    • Mike
      Reply

      They key is in what you say Kerry. ” I am not starving, so my worry is probably not as grave as those living in marginalised communities.”

      You are most probably sitting at home still earning your salary. There are millions of people out there whom now sits with no income – apologies, I am wrong. They get TERS which is null and void in the bigger picture.

  • Brenda Fernandes
    Reply

    Dear Mr President & honourable members hear our pleas.

    I hope just one of you get to read this .
    I know you are all busy & only have the best interests of all South Africans at
    Heart but this is discrimination based on very slim knowledge that you will not appreciate unless you are a smoker .its a very addictive problem and this is not healthy to go cold turkey .

    Most of us wish we have never started but back in the day we were cool .

    I should have the right to smoke it harms me no one else. You cannot expect us to quit cold turkey I’ve smoked for over 50 years .We are already stressed out.
    Most of us are responsible smokers that do not smoke in buildings and around children as is the law of South Africa .
    I don’t pass a cigarette around .
    Don’t sell Rizlas papers and loose tobacco where saliva is used to make homade cigarettes . Only packets .

    If I smoke I don’t cause fights or end up in the emergency rooms .

    I suffer from stress & anxiety smoking calms me down .

    Withdrawal symptoms can also affect us make us nasty and aggressive ” in severe cases domestic violence can escalate ”

    I have attached various articles regarding smoking .

    Most of us know someone who knows someone who knows someond and they are selling illegal Zimbabwe “”mostly” cigarettes at R 70.00 a packet . Better brands are R1000.00 for 20 packe8ts .

    Our country needs this #Sintax as a lot of workers are already retrenched preserve some jobs “God made tobacco ” It’s a plant ” and the tax collected is going to reduce dramatically .

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3776130/

    Mboweni: I lost the debate on alcohol and cigarette sales https://ewn.co.za/2020/04/30/mboweni-i-lost-the-debate-on-alcohol-and-cigarette-sales?@i4PexzCCyZJFZAfRhJNJbA==

    https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/s/smoking-and-mental-health

    https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times/news/2017-11-04-exposed-top-lawyers-unmasked-for-taking-dodgy-cash-gifts-from-kingpin-mazzotti/

    I implore you Mr President not to go back on your word and not have to go buy from these vultures that have jumped on this oppurtunity to sell illegal cigarettes .

    Take the #Sintax which I understand to amount to billions .

    I ask for your kind consideration of this request .

    I’m already anxious and on edge knowing I cannot have a cigarette that I thought I could buy legally tomorrow in my normal grocery store
    Thank you for your kind consideration
    Keep safe

    Dear Mr President & honourable members hear our pleas.

    I hope just one of you get to read this .
    I know you are all busy & only have the best interests of all South Africans at
    Heart but this is discrimination based on very slim knowledge that you will not appreciate unless you are a smoker .its a very addictive problem and this is not healthy to go cold turkey .

    Most of us wish we have never started but back in the day we were cool .

    I should have the right to smoke it harms me no one else. You cannot expect us to quit cold turkey I’ve smoked for over 50 years .We are already stressed out.
    Most of us are responsible smokers that do not smoke in buildings and around children as is the law of South Africa .
    I don’t pass a cigarette around .
    Don’t sell Rizlas papers and loose tobacco where saliva is used to make homade cigarettes . Only packets .

    If I smoke I don’t cause fights or end up in the emergency rooms .

    I suffer from stress & anxiety smoking calms me down .

    Withdrawal symptoms can also affect us make us nasty and aggressive ” in severe cases domestic violence can escalate ”

    I have attached various articles regarding smoking .

    Most of us know someone who knows someone who knows someond and they are selling illegal Zimbabwe “”mostly” cigarettes at R 70.00 a packet . Better brands are R1000.00 for 20 packets .

    Our country needs this #Sintax as a lot of workers are already retrenched preserve some jobs “God made tobacco ” It’s a plant ” and the tax collected is going to reduce dramatically .

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3776130/

    Mboweni: I lost the debate on alcohol and cigarette sales https://ewn.co.za/2020/04/30/mboweni-i-lost-the-debate-on-alcohol-and-cigarette-sales?@i4PexzCCyZJFZAfRhJNJbA==

    https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/s/smoking-and-mental-health

    https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times/news/2017-11-04-exposed-top-lawyers-unmasked-for-taking-dodgy-cash-gifts-from-kingpin-mazzotti/

    https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/national/2018-12-03-julius-malemas-family-lives-on-estate-owned-by-cigarette-kingpin/

    Look into Ma🐝

    I implore you Mr President not to go back on your word and not have to go buy from these vultures that have jumped on this oppurtunity to sell illegal cigarettes .

    Take the #Sintax which I understand to amount to billions .

    I ask for your kind consideration of this request .

    I’m already anxious and on edge knowing I cannot have a cigarette that I thought I could buy legally tomorrow in my normal grocery store .

    Best regards
    Brenda Fernandes

    Dear Mr President & honourable members hear our pleas.

    I hope just one of you get to read this .
    I know you are all busy & only have the best interests of all South Africans at
    Heart but this is discrimination based on very slim knowledge that you will not appreciate unless you are a smoker .its a very addictive problem and this is not healthy to go cold turkey .

    Most of us wish we have never started but back in the day we were cool .

    I should have the right to smoke it harms me no one else. You cannot expect us to quit cold turkey I’ve smoked for over 50 years .We are already stressed out.
    Most of us are responsible smokers that do not smoke in buildings and around children as is the law of South Africa .
    I don’t pass a cigarette around .
    Don’t sell Rizlas papers and loose tobacco where saliva is used to make homade cigarettes . Only packets .

    If I smoke I don’t cause fights or end up in the emergency rooms .

    I suffer from stress & anxiety smoking calms me down .

    Withdrawal symptoms can also affect us make us nasty and aggressive ” in severe cases domestic violence can escalate ”

    I have attached various articles regarding smoking .

    Most of us know someone who knows someone who knows someond and they are selling illegal Zimbabwe “”mostly” cigarettes at R 70.00 a packet . Better brands are R1000.00 for 20 packets .

    Our country needs this #Sintax as a lot of workers are already retrenched preserve some jobs “God made tobacco ” It’s a plant ” and the tax collected is going to reduce dramatically .

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3776130/

    Mboweni: I lost the debate on alcohol and cigarette sales https://ewn.co.za/2020/04/30/mboweni-i-lost-the-debate-on-alcohol-and-cigarette-sales?@i4PexzCCyZJFZAfRhJNJbA==

    https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/s/smoking-and-mental-health

    https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times/news/2017-11-04-exposed-top-lawyers-unmasked-for-taking-dodgy-cash-gifts-from-kingpin-mazzotti/

    Why is Mazzotti benefitting ?

    I implore you Mr President not to go back on your word and not have to go buy from these vultures that have jumped on this oppurtunity to sell illegal cigarettes .

    Take the #Sintax which I understand to amount to billions .

    I ask for your kind consideration of this request .

    I’m already anxious and on edge knowing I cannot have a cigarette that I thought I could buy legally tomorrow in my normal grocery store .

    Best regards
    Brenda Fernandes

  • Theo Le Roux
    Reply

    Thank you Cliff for putting our feelings out there so elequintly. As a white male operating a little 2 man Mural art operation, we are so screwed. My assistant of 4 years, Juma, with his kids and wife are at their wits end. The banks and Credi card companies clearly have a different view of this lock down because they hear nothing of our plight for payment relief. They all have a direct line to us, but trying to speak to them is a totally different story. Although makro businesses like us employ thousands of people, but we get no assistance. We Need to start working please. We Need to be able to save our lively hood. God nows what the fallout is going to be. They will just simply come and collect. I am so fucking angry but who will listen….

  • Marieta Georghiou
    Reply

    Thank you Gareth that is exactly how we are feeling. There are a lot if other health issues like obesity that is also health threatening for your heart and other organs. It is our choice to smoke and keep us sane in this difficult times. Don’ break a promise, give it back and break it again. It will end in anarchy. Marieta

  • Carol
    Reply

    Too true…. Ex Mrs Zuma posing with drug lords an we forced to buy cigarettes black market prices wher our Taxes could feed the poor…. Who’s running our country…. Ramaphosa or his ministers over 60 years that should be locked down with us hey… An definitely no social distancing or masks among ther people….

  • Margo
    Reply

    Obesity is also a great health risk. It affects all your organs. Look at the MP’s. It is also their own choice.

  • Astrid
    Reply

    Agreed- the writing is on the wall. We are concerned about the virus and overwhelming healthcare facilities, but more so- being plunged into an economic depression. There is limited time left to make critical changes and keep (what’s left) of our confidence in these lockdown measures.

  • Vernon
    Reply

    So what I untangle from this rant is you want this lockdown to be removed and everything back to pre april agenda. If that is correct would it be alright if we keep the corpses at your house and would you please take over the icu wards at the hospitals and implement a strategy that will regulate the mass chaos that will unfold and overwhelm the hospitals. Sounds like you got this so please in your next rant please explain your exit strategy of this lockdown instead of telling us what a terrible job the ruling party has done in the past, we all know that already. Oh yes, love the ol moses references as like that now justifies your stance, classic.

  • Karl
    Reply

    2000 people out of approximately 77000, wanted the ban on cigarettes to stay…that is 2.5% wanted the ban to remain…I mean really…you break your word for 2.5% and leave the 97.5% to get angry…urhmmm doesnt make sense…

  • Maximus
    Reply

    Wow having the balls to threaten the president. Bet you feel very Gareth Cliff about yourself. No they can’t arrest all or shoot them but why don’t you and the privilege that listen to your shit take the first bullets. I dare you big mouth, go fuck with a soldier and see what happens. Your privilege sometimes makes you an asshole.

  • Shara spilkin
    Reply

    Much can be done via the constitutional court. Our rights are being trampled on needlessly. A very dangerous precedent

  • Hams
    Reply

    Thank You, Gareth I don’t believe for a moment that anyone could have put what you addressed to our President any better.
    I applaude you and support you 100per cent

  • Neville
    Reply

    Totally agree. We are all going to starve before we die from this flu…. I can only work in level 2 … how long will it take to get to that level…we CAN’T maintain this.

  • Dawid
    Reply

    If we can spread the disease by sharimg a cigarette and therefore are forbidden to buy or share it..what about forbidding the sale of spoons because many people share a spoon especially large poor families around a pot of porridge for instance ??

  • Claudia Hooker
    Reply

    I can’t get my head around most of the rules…. SA The Only country in the world with such strict “rules”…. Seriously!! More damage being done with this flipping lockdown than trying to prevent/ lessen the curve!! Especially here in SA!! As sad as the 116 deaths are (which are reported in SA due to Covid-19. I dont have the new figures, but in 2016, 14071 people died on SA roads, that is 1072 people died per month.. perhaps they should ban all road transport! That will prevent all these deaths!!! .) WHAT exactly is this all about?? … Sorry not meaning to hijack your post, but I just feel so strongly about this…. Enough is enough!!! People and Government need to wake up!!!!

  • Yaasien
    Reply

    Your attempt at concealing your true feelings by carefully wording your speech has failed. The undertone of your speech is obvious. You do not speak for all South Africans, but for a small minority. What are your motives? Why use a story from the Bible about an uprising?

  • Ann Donnelly
    Reply

    I am not really one of your fans…. but have to agree that this time you have it spot on!

  • Brenda
    Reply

    the ban on smokers, is turning people into criminals. They are finding cigarettes illegally anyway and paying the earth for them. So really what is the point….

  • Christovdm
    Reply

    This is a man that made jokes about the Bible and Christians before , now using the Bible as your reference point ……..Gareth , doesn’t work like that.

  • Joe
    Reply

    “Many of us aren’t afraid of the virus anymore. It’s our health and we’ll take our chances, thank you.”

    It doesn’t matter how afraid you are, that doesn’t change scientific facts. Facts aren’t ANC facts, or Gareth Cliff facts, FACTS ARE FACTS.

    And, dear Mr Cliff, it’s not your or your friends’/colleagues’ health alone, and those chances are not yours to take.

    Does this guy look beyond South Africa? Has he not seen the havoc that this virus is wreaking worldwide? SA isn’t special, we’re not immune to things that other people are not.

    I question the responsibility of writing such an “open-letter” to the President.

    And I’m sure the president doesn’t appreciate colloquialisms in letters either.

  • Morne
    Reply

    Really Cliff. Not scared of the virus? Threatening anarchy? Even Julius has made more intelligent statements. Not your brightest moment… Lol

  • Thando
    Reply

    I hope you will repost this letter to the president of yours when people die in the thousands, but don’t worry some of us will remind you.

  • Mike
    Reply

    100% agree. 95% if not more of those supporting the hard lockdown are sitting at their homes receiving a full salary or are financially strong enough not to need a salary. The middle class will dissappear and the rich (whom mostly supports this lockdown) will jump in to gulp up good companies and properties from owners going into liquidation for a fraction of the value, which they will sell again in 2 years time at massive profits. This is an orchestrated campaign to eliminate the middle class.

  • Kerina
    Reply

    Your command of the English language is fantastic and you put into words what most of us are thinking and feeling! Do not treat us like naughty kids. As a tax-paying law abiding citizen, I have the right to choose whether I’m going to smoke a cigarette or have a glass of wine!! Or buy make-up for that matter! Bravo Gareth!!

  • Josh
    Reply

    Gareth,
    I am please to see that 98+% agree with your comments, but according to state & media publicity 98% out of 1000 people polled agree with lockdown status. Which government in world has ever acted in good faith towards it citizens first? Has this government acted in good faith? Have they managed to prosecute any of the state capture criminals? Can they run state owned entities, all bankrupt? How will these socialist / communist restart this economy? Will they call it a “special period” similarly to their brothers in Cuba?

    We as citizens cannot or should not trust any government, as absolute power corrupts. No different in other jurisdictions such USA.

    I agree with social distancing and individual choice as to lockdown. If you do not wish to go out please stay at home. Today most services can be delivered, if a person cannot afford it, lives on government grant & wish to be lockdown, I am of the view that Government should support such people. Let the rest of us decide for ourselves, the government does not know absolutely whether their actions are right or wrong. As can be seen in Sweden & Brazil who chose not to enforce a lockdown with medical support.

    We need citizens to unite & legally force this lockdown to end.

    These people who disagree with your sentiments and view point, but I am appalled how the human race can support wars in name of peace

  • Yolande
    Reply

    Who is this “us” this msunaiza is talking about? He with his medical aid may not be scared of covid19 but what about the rest of us who can’t easily access medical care? White privilege is making Gareth speak with his butthole here. Will he provide health care if lockdown is lifted entirely & tens of thousand of people require it to stay alive? No. Think before you speak nonsense to wena Gareth

  • Paula
    Reply

    Well said Gareth, we trusted but now he nerds to step up to the party if he wishes to regain our trust. Otherwise I see trouble on the horizon. I really hope he reads your letter 👊

  • Beverley Pekema
    Reply

    By Ernest Bovey. Couldn’t agree more. SA ..The only country In The world where the president says one thing then the ex-president’s ex-wife overrules the current president!

  • Pieter Erasmus
    Reply

    I would like to tell the president what I think of how he is controlling our white people but his brothers are running around spreading the virus breaking and plundering and nobody stops them. But the goverment is living off oure tax payers money. South Africa is fucked because if the police and defense force cant even keep unarmed blacks in their houses how will they be able to fight a war. People will dei they do everyday and farmers get killed in thousands every year by the same people roaming our streets let is live our lives its our choice

  • Natheem Albertus
    Reply

    Dear Mr President Ramaphosa

    I refer to Mr Cliff’s letter to you.

    I find Cliff’s letter self- serving. It seems he and his followers are incapable of understanding the seriousness of the situation. He says that he and his cronies have been ready to support the government in stopping the spread of the coronavirus. Someone should tell Cliff that he is compelled under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act to obey the curfew provisions.

    Taking counsel from a broad spectrum of experts the President exercised his executive powers under the Disaster Management Act and correctly and courageously placed the Republic of South Africa under a strict curfew. Curfew simply means that the government is ordering its citizens to stay in doors for a period within which it could deal urgently with a serious disaster at hand. Any failure to comply with the provisions of the lockdown /curfew would be an offence.

    Cliffs rambles incoherently about the heavy-handedness of the police & army to poor people living in cramped conditions for a month displaying his ignorance about the nature & effect of the coronavirus. He says, that “Our patience and emotional state of affairs are on a knife -edge. We are losing hope.” He is obviously referring to his pals and followers who don’t live in the shacks he is mumbling about. Cliff’s lack of understanding is staggering. What did he think that he could mix with his pals, ignore social distancing and go out whenever he decides but the tragedy of it all is that his followers all support him with his dumb statements on his blog.

    Since it seems Cliff is missing the social life so much and want to be with his friends and move freely around again I suggest that the government locate him and his groupies to some island where they can mingle and indulge themselves and probably infect each other.

    Gareth and his pals must get over themselves because this virus has affected all citizens. Gareth, if you want to measure the level of your patience why don’t you swop places with someone in Alexandria or Khayelitsha for 3 weeks. Why don’t you Live the Life of the majority of our people for the 3 weeks who has it the worse, before you criticize this government. You should be thinking less of your selfish desires. Suppose you did live for 3 weeks in a township it would appear that learnt nothing because you have demonstrated no patience or the will to endure in time of extreme difficulties.

    Your statement that “Many of us aren’t afraid of the virus anymore. It our health and we’ll take our chances, thank you.” Very brave man to hold such bold views but perhaps Cliff is Chuck Norris Reborn. It is an extremely dangerous and reckless statement to make on a public platform because it directly undermines the government’s efforts to contain the virus.

    The Minister, Dlamini-Zuma was correct in reviewing the government’s decision to maintain the ban on tobacco products.

    Someone should advise Cliff it would be best to cease making inflammatory statements such as “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 advisors in the security cluster have mentioned that they can’t shoot us all or put us all in jail.” In the context of the current situation his remarks could be construed as incitement and insurrection against a legitimately elected government.

    Cliff’s last remark to the president: “to start letting our people go Mr President, or this plague will be the least of our worries.” could constitute an unlawful threat against a legitimate and duly elected sitting President

    I hope his letter hasn’t reached the President or his security and intelligence advisors. Cliff should seriously consider withdrawing his letter unreservedly.

    Regards

    Natheem

  • Lebogang
    Reply

    Sadly this is a very unintelligent and ignorant letter. The fact that you are more concerned about cigarettes than human lives, is good enough reason why the president shouldn’t even waste his time on this. You are basically promoting a rebellion against the government regulations!!! “We are not afraid of the virus”… Who is we? Maybe we are your people, the same ones that agree with this foolishness since you guys refuse to agree with anything a black president will say. And stop speaking on behalf of people in “one-room settlements” as if you’ve been there. And it’s funny how you say “your government”. Maybe you’d like to step out into the north and find your government. Understand that no one is happy with not being able to go where they want to, but we all need to sacrifice for the sake of everyone else. It’s really saddening to see such selfish and ignorant views, from you and the comments below. We don’t need this kind of energy during these times.

  • Raoul
    Reply

    Gareth expressed his views, he did so in a non racial, non offensive manner. You don’t agree with him and don’t believe that he has a right to express his sentiment. You react in the oh so predictable manner by labeling him racist, just because he is white? You bring in white privilege, always the ploy of those who are too lazy to work for anything and want to claim that any white person that achieved anything got it for free. People like myself, Gareth included have many black friends, people we trust and respect. Sadly there are people like yourself who don’t want to acknowledge that the white people of today are the ones who voted “yes” for change and the inclusive society that most people of all races, not ones like you, are trying to build

  • Raoul
    Reply

    Thando, the virus is not just going to go away because we are hiding. At some point we need to come out and face it. It would be best to do that while there is still something to come out to. Do you think the government has enough food parcels for all of us toll Christmas? You are reaping the benefits of essential workers making sure there’s food for you to eat. How about being man enough to get out there now and help them. The virus will only kill about 3 percent of people who contract it. What about saving the economy so that the other 97 percent don’t die from starvation? Oh you’d rather wait for a handout, it’s not coming!

  • Jean Lee
    Reply

    Gareth Cliff and Karen is a joke. SA hasn’t reached its peak, forget about 2nd wave. Moses? Please come fetch your people here. Easy to identify as GC followers. Also GC, it’s ‘our government’ as you live in this country. Charter a plane for yourself and Karens if you don’t like it. We wil’ happily let you go. Think further than your selfish privileged life. They can’t arrest you all but I’d like to see you sacrifice yourself to go to prison for your and followers beliefs. Go on. Lead the way. Let’s see how brave you are with your own goddamned life.

  • Sula
    Reply

    Thank you for this. How strange, I don’t read my bible often enough and haven’t read the old testament for decades, yet I randomly opened my bible and read the few pages about Pharoh and Moses in the last week. Personally I’m really really afraid of the virus and am going to ridiculous extremes to protect me and my family BUT if things don’t get back to business soon a family member who employs 3 other family members and about 50 other staff stands to loose his business.

  • Fred
    Reply

    Did Dlamini-Zuma undermine Cyril’s authority and if so, what the hell is he going to do about it!?

  • Bianca
    Reply

    I don’t for a second believe this is about enjies. Stay at home and work with a charity for the underprivileged you seem to care so much about now

  • Basil Loggenberg
    Reply

    I am a expat and living in London. At first I counted myself lucky to be in a country with a superb medical infrastructure . But as the weeks turned into months it was clear that the British government was more concerned about the political fallout than people’s lives. I live in the U.K. (28000 deaths), I have a brother in America( 60 000 + deaths) daughter in France (26000 + dearth’s)and the rest of my family in South Africa.(123 deaths). What Mr Ramaphosa has done was and is visionary. South Africa has got this under control. Because of his leadership , you are safe. If you let up restrictions you will open a pandora box . The UK’s government did not act soon enough and people are dying in their 100’s everyday.

  • Peter
    Reply

    No. It’s not just about your health and whether you are willing to take a chance with your own life. Don’t you get it yet. This is not how it works. You can carry the virus unknowingly and infect others. How many times must this be repeated. This grandstanding is dangerous. Do you really think government does not know about the suffering the lockdown is causing.

  • Bianca
    Reply

    Agreed 1000%. All of a sudden all this middle class people are tax agents and worried about Sars revenue. Everyone with half a brain can see through it. Stay at home. You will have a rough winter with covid-19 without a doubt it’s only the beginning . Stop worrying about cigarettes and stop quoting the bible. Gareth is a real Chad!

  • Seedeh
    Reply

    Yes agreed…the thing is with all these written…those in power will never change anything for citizens of SA ..we gave them power yet we are powerless…it’s scary future for SA.

  • Shakir Smith
    Reply

    Mr President Sir, you are the President of South Africa not just the ANC and should give of your best for every race and colour that resides in what was once a beautiful country. The world is watching you and it is watching us, the people of South Africa.
    We all long for peace and prosperity, do the right thing for everyone old, young, big,small,poor,rich, middle class, put the right people in place, put the right people in management, hold the wrong doers in leadership roles responsible for their lack of performance by getting rid of them.
    Sir, we are not frogs, nor will we ever be.
    It is out of respect for others that we behave, it is out of respect that we do not tear down what exists, it is out of respect duty and diligence that we do not retaliate to the situation in our country and the old council can no longer be held accountable for what is happening in our country today.
    Mr President. I hope and pray that you will do the right thing. We do not want to become another Zimbabwe and unfortunately we are three quarters of the way there. No I don’t have all the answers, but I do have respect. Diligence, integrity and a history of other things that make me a South African who was once proud to be called just that A South African, for which today I am ashamed.
    I doubt that you will read this or that it will ever reach your desk. But these are my thoughts and how I feel, unsafe and fearful of our future.
    Good Day Mr President
    Regards
    Shakir Smith

  • maria
    Reply

    well put. our dear president does not care two hoots, though. he is simply just boiling the frogs as he had stated his plan was, all those years ago. then there is the matter of the anc manifesto of that time as well. all of these things clearly planned. the virus just an excuse to spead things up.

  • Lawrence
    Reply

    Who do u think you are to u dermine our honerable President like this? When have u become a dictator for the poor? Your previlege does not grant you any immunity against the virus, we are all suffering the same way, what makes you better? What has made u think the people you consider to be poor voiceless? Stupid and racist tendencies will get this country killed. You are not bigger than anyone, grow a pair and STAY Indoors, and that goes for everyone that’s against the rules set by our honerable President. You are not Moses and never will be. We are in this together, no one has imunity, everyone is suffering.

  • Cytone
    Reply

    Why Africans still protect whites like Gareth when he shows African leaders a middle finger? FYI, his uncles and cousins are having lock down in Europe!

  • Garth
    Reply

    Perfect summary and sentiment that many of us share! Why they can’t look at and emulate countries like South Korea plans is beyond me. Its illogical China-centric plans are killing us slowly.

  • OLIVIA LOUBSER
    Reply

    I agree 200% This lockdown is now more about a power play and manipulation and secret agendas. We had enough of spiteful punishment of law abiding citicens. You don’t want to know what thoughts have crossed my mind 😯😫

  • Venita
    Reply

    The government is trying their best and this type of media is what causes more havoc then help. Yes the government is not perfect. Yet it is an effort better than most other countries have made. The level approach is the best.

  • James
    Reply

    Like all other disasters and pandemics, some will die while others survive, but at the end life must still go on

  • Toz
    Reply

    “Here they took it all lightly, and people are dying in masses.” ?

    As of 4 May the Netherlands has no new cases and no new deaths, winter there is January to April.

    Total Covid related deaths = 5000
    Total population = 17 000 000
    = 0.02%

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

    Don’t come back Emkay.

  • Jan
    Reply

    If you dont now the difference between a vibrator and a ventilator ,how on earth would you understand Cliff’s strait and sincere message?

  • Paul
    Reply

    You have a 99.998% chance of surviving COVID without a mask, sanitiser, social distancing and lockdown – I will take my chance so give me back my liberty

  • leroy steenkamp
    Reply

    Ek will rook asb ek gaan dood gaan die friendo gwaais is R100 a 20 vir cheap gwaais hulle moet soma ook uit S.A gesit word want hulle abuse ons

  • Gert van Niekerk
    Reply

    What the WHOLE of the good, civilized, law abiding but naive citizens, including the MEDIA, of S.A. do not realize is that Ramaposa is NOT the President!! This country IS RULED by the Zupta Conspiracy which included the very effective USE of the corona situation as just One More MILKING Cow-and the tax payers will pay for their ‘Doings’.

  • Nikki
    Reply

    Thank you so much for writing this letter. You said it much better than I could have done. May God bless South Africa, guide her leaders and grant her some peace, dignity and the civil liberties of a democracy. The poorest and most vulnerable do not deserve these rules and regulations, not to mention the army and police brutality our Government has unleashed upon them. Who cares about a virus when sadistic, inhumane behaviour against people living their lives is the reality?

  • Tim Greig
    Reply

    Well written Gareth! Exactly my sentiments. This Government over the past 25 Years has caused a decline in standards in many state run enterprises and Municipalities. A number of Municipalities are bankrupt, roads are full of pot holes, Hospitals are a joke with people dying in passages ( pre Covid!!) , Parastatals are bankrupt and bleeding the fiscus, and yet this bunch of incompetent buffoons continue to be voted into power. The price we pay for an illiterate electorate! Why do we believe that this corrupt, inept bunch of officials , will suddenly transform into a well oiled efficient Government simply because Covid has hit us!! No Sir. The Government remain a joke and I’m afraid I have lost faith in our President. He provided hope after , arguably the most corrupt President in the world, but has failed to deliver. This country could be so great – but unfortunately cadre deployment has riddled the Government with a cancer that’s deep rooted – even in upper echelons of the ANC. Cry the beloved Country!! .

  • Markus
    Reply

    100% with you… just a pity that anything said by a white person is deemed racist these days. And the sad part is that the people who deem this as racism, the ones who are being hurt the most, would not act on it, because “a white man said so”.

    I have always been proud to be South African, but as the years go by I feel less and less so and more and more like an alien in the country I grew up in.

  • rachel franzen
    Reply

    The President must show courage and make some decisions on his own as a “Real Leader” and set aside the NCC’s , NOT SO realistic cufews they made to curb the Coronavirus. Let the President watch and read the news for 2 hours for him to see where and why will Cigarettes spread the Coronavirus.

  • Philip Machanick
    Reply

    No, Gareth: “Many of us aren’t afraid of the virus anymore. It’s our health and we’ll take our chances, thank you.” You don’t have that option. It is not just about your selfish health. This is a highly contagious disease that disproportionately hits the poor and the vulnerable – particularly those with pre- existing conditions and the elderly. Many get it mildly, often so mildly that they do not even know they are ill but they can still spread it to the vulnerable.

    In a democracy we are all entitled – even have a duty – to criticize government failure. In my own community, Makhanda (Grahamstown), EC, we have done more than our share of that with landmark High Court judgements calling government to order for failures in its constitutional duty.

    But harping on government failure as an excuse to undermine the campaign against COVID-19 and particularly doing so from a position of privilege where you are unlikely to get it badly and die is odious in the extreme.

  • james ricketts
    Reply

    Sorry Gareth, this starts off well then reading on we discover that the intro just serves to give pseudo credibility to the privileged criticism ahead.
    I’ll leave it at that, seeing as there’s a great rebuttal by Nkululeko in his open letter, hot on the heels of yours & Mike Abels.

  • Christine Philip
    Reply

    I agree fully. Thank you having the courage to say what you have said. To those feeling offended by all the truths Gareth spoke, get over yourselves and remove the chips from your shoulders. Look at facts and keep emotions out of it. If ever this nation has had to stand together and come out stronger at the other side, then it is now. Childish squables and shortsighted opinions that come from a deep-rooted ignorance fueled by emotions rather than sensible reasoning, is definitely not going to have a positive outcome. I stand a 100% behind Gareth.

  • Kathryn
    Reply

    Thank you Gareth, Thank you for having the courage to say what we were all thinking. Your message is clear, succinct and rational. Let’s now see what a government that claims it listens to it’s people, does. To whom did they listen?

  • Melissa
    Reply

    1000%
    I have been telling anyone who will listen that it’s NOT the virus we should be fearing.
    My biggest concern is the creeping in of erosion of personal and social liberties – a brutal, almost militarised state that S.A. is not mature enough to execute with the compassion and responsibility for the upholding of citizen’s rights and where the army and police are judge, jury and literally executioners; the totally unrealistic handling of the educational story (the ridiculously unobtainable assurance of making every single school safe when many schools don’t even have toilets, share textbooks – ludicrous if you recall it took over a year for textbooks to be delivered to schools in Limpopo; how adults not in Level 4 must stay at home while their innocent children get exposed to this virus because they want to save the academic year) and the ugly smell of opportunism in terms of prescriptive economic activity – the billions of rands for business intervention prioritized for spaza shops on the proviso that they buy from stipulated suppliers; stupid arbitrary rules of 6am – 9am exercising – like corona only wakes up from dossing at 9:30am; irrationally imposing cigarette bans because its bad for you and people share cigarettes and therefore saliva – while having NO answer for the BOOMING sale of illegal cigarettes and its economic and criminal repercussions. Jah. These are the things I worry about the most.

  • Vanessa
    Reply

    Well done Gareth. There are times in life where one has to stand by your convictions, and you have done so admirably. Sadly, the sheeple will criticize you because they don’t want to see the agenda that is being played out as we speak by the government. They feel safe in their ignorance. But many of us have your back on this one.

  • Sonja
    Reply

    Thank you Gareth, for your wise words, your fight is not only for the privileged but for those who live in poor conditions, the hungry begging for food and many who have lost their jobs and businesses. This is for the Nation. We have been DECEIVED and the world is awakening to the LIE of CORONA19. Mr President if you are a Man of God you will set your people free and not let us live in fear of what the world is telling you. but rather be led by His Word and Holy Spirit…Let God lead you and YOU lead your people! God bless South Africa!

  • David Jesse Ph.D
    Reply

    ECONOMIC RECOVERY – AN OPEN LETTER TO RAMAPOSA AND THE ANC

    WWII – Europe. The Marshall Plan. Without it Europe would never have prevailed or recovered. Look and learn.

    The biggest lesson from this is that the Allies did not persecute, disenfranchise, or continuously degrade and play the blame game with Germany or its supporters.

    The Allies prosecuted the Nazi headship. The rest they embraced in reconciliation and rebuilding. Compare Europe recovery to Africa after blacks take over. Not racist, fact!

    The ANC cannot go on pilfering the State coffers, mercilessly attack and lambaste the whites and continue to disenfranchise them in order to cover up ANC mismanagement and crime.

    VBS, SABC, PRASA, ESKOM, SAA, State Capture. Billions upon billions gone, no prosecutions.

    Nelson Mandela’s advocated reconciliation and equality. A rainbow nation.

    The poor South Africans are still poor because since Mandela stepped down RSA has been run by idiots and the whites have been disenfranchised and they keep getting blamed for all RSA woes. It’s nonsense!

    There is so much corruption in RSA it can’t distinguish between its arse and its elbow.

    Shame in you – South Africa – your are a disgrace to your own people.

    Hang your heads – walk of shame!

  • Tinus Gouws
    Reply

    Yes ,I agee 100%. I also do ot smoke, but when I past Spweto last night, the whole area were covered under smoke. So dont tell me that that is acceptable. Less corruptio the more can we invest in peoe. Government is a joke.

  • Grant
    Reply

    “It’s our health and we’ll take our chances thank you” is a truly shallow and selfish approach from someone with adequate resources to access the best in health care (a position it would be safe to assume the majority of his listeners and readers are in too), This is not about “me” – as it always is with this shock-jock – it’s about everyone. Doubtless if the president hadn’t declared a lockdown and instead put finances first, Gareth would have been equally vocal about Cyril putting the economy over and above the lives of this country’s people. Cyril has amongst the best minds in the medical profession informing his opinion, who do you have Gareth?

  • Yolande Theron
    Reply

    Agreed, if you had given different rules to BENEFIT your “fellow South Africans” ( which btw we suspect are only the BEE counterparts), we would see no need to question you. But since it’s just a little too obvious that you have an alterior motive, the currently opressed white man should no longer entertain your two-headed propaganda. I am ashamed of you now Mr Ramaphosa!

  • Deon Seymour
    Reply

    Was with you until you brought Moses into it. Firstly one should never get religious when being political, and second, The President is not known for his biblical scripture so i’m fairly confident he doesn’t even know who Moses is/was.

    We need Civil disobedience, we need to return to normal, we need to out this ANC from power. To me, it seems their motives from the 60s hasn’t seemed to change much. Buch of terrorists running everything into the ground

  • bengine
    Reply

    Just listened to the interview – not that familiar with your work – but you handled that exceptionally well. Arguing against the identity politics proponents is pointless as they typically reject the baselines on which most logical and rational and reasonable discussions are based which makes it incredibly difficult to make any headway.

    As a white male living in this country I share your concerns – not because of the way it affects me and my family – which is nothing compared to those in the townships – but because on the back of the corruption and mismanagement by our government that had already put such a huge strain on the majority of people – their actions now are going to make it worse. I have a great love for my country and the people in it (as it appears you do – based on the passion you displayed in the interview) and prior to the “pandemic” I was hopeful that we could turn things around and make a difference. The actions around this crisis have just made achieving that goal that much more difficult – which is a very sad state of affairs.

    Keep the narrative going – you have a great amount of support.

  • Momo
    Reply

    This is one of those moments where a situation is used purely for the purposes of adding to it creating unnecessary noise or disarray. Have you for once considered that the president is working with recommendations from the WHO, whose data and recommendations span many countries and specialists way more informed than you will ever be in this circumstance Gareth. Especially around cigarettes, this is a respiratory disease after all. I like how you bring Moses into this,very clear your message was to create sensationalism with the religiously inclined. After all, I’m sure prayer cures viruses. Be sure to try that when you get Covid. Good luck old man.

  • Caroline Olivier
    Reply

    Dear Gareth, I had the frustrating opportunity to watch the debate between you and Jamiel (who-ever this may be – never heard of him) and I was annoyed beyond comprehension. The we you speak of includes thousands of South Africans who are currently in lockdown, despite following each and every precaution to stay safe. It feels as though the lawless few, who still wander streets and have their parties with pineapple beer, punishes the entire South Africa. As for the lifting of the cigarette ban being retracted, you are damn right, we feel betrayed and as though we don’t matter. We (All smokers, see the numerous facebook pages, which also constitute of your ‘we’) are being financially ruined, still procuring cigarettes, but at exorbitant prices, financially crippling us, while cabinet members fill their pockets with illegal money. This information is not factual, but you need to have the intelligence of a bread, to not figure it out. Your letter to the president is more than grounded and I salute you for saying it like it is. I’m sorry you had to deal with a delinquent in order to get your point across, I understand your point, and I agree with it. Each of us should be held responsible for our own health and safety. The infections will come either way once lockdown ends, but many people will starve of hunger, before they starve of a flue on steroids. Thanks for putting yourself out there – and for the record, the we you speak of, definitely includes me and my family and just about every other educated person out there. best wishes – Caroline

  • Corinne
    Reply

    Gareth you said. Out loud and proud standing by your convictions. Mr President head this message. Gareth is speaking on behalf of your citizens. I stand by him 100%.

  • Fraser
    Reply

    I watched the video and was blown away by the ignorance and lack of knowledge regarding the present state of our country….it is time to stand up and be counted…Thank you Gareth

  • Harry Horn
    Reply

    Garreth thank you,I agree with you and I still say she did not ban it for safety reasons and because she cared about us, but because she has issues with smokers, let us just be, we respected the lockdown but it feels like issolation. Thank you Gareth for your great letter.

  • Jerry
    Reply

    Thank you Gareth, keep up the good work!!
    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    ― Benjamin Franklin

  • Andri Theyse
    Reply

    Thank you Gareth!! I hope that everyone who needs to read this see your letter. “We” don’t have a voice and you said it on on our behalf. Please start on the next letter.

  • Arthur Nijmeijer
    Reply

    According to the WHO 63000 people died of TB in South Africa in 2018. That is some 1200 souls a week. So, since the lockdown started we can safely assume some 8000 people have died of TB. This is not seen as a pandemic. Why not? It sounds a whole lot more deadly than the Corona virus. I agree with Gareth Cliff on this. Something smells, badly.

  • Solly Rajah
    Reply

    Not much is wrong with gareth’s letter, other than the fact that he has no idea of society, and he lives in a dream that had made him rich, simply because of his whiteness. when he awakes from his dream, i urge him to come out quietly, as the world he will see post Covid-19, he will not recognize. Gareth, the truth of the matter is all over the world, your beloved capitalism has reached its end, and so has your dream. People like you should never emerge from these dreams.

  • Solly Rajah
    Reply

    Frankly, capitalism has been on cliff’s edge for a while now. It stumbled about a decade ago, and failed to fully rise again. Covid-19 was the finger that jotled it over the cliff. Now Gareth (Cliff), tries to behave like it has never happened. But he is absolutely correct in his stance, and it is no surprise that he has so much support. What really is happening is that the world is at war. the war between the rich and the poor. It always has been. About 340 thousand South African are millionaires, 6 of whom are billionaires. 11 million South Africans are neither rich nor poor. They belong to the middle class, characteristically neither here nor there, always aspiring to be in the top wealthiest, and always despises the poor. Gareth has articulated that characteristic very well in his letter. 45 million South Africans are living in poverty, as a result of 340 thousand South Africans who share 90% of South Africa’s wealth. Now Gareth must get nervous, the prospects of him rising in wealth fades before his eyes, and the reality that he could be flung into poverty, or close to it terrifies him, and the rest of the middle class. In the final analysis, this class will be caught in the firing line, when the battle ends up in the streets. 340 thousand versus 45 million!

  • Sensible Guy
    Reply

    Hi Gareth, Ignore the sheep that follow government, we the people make the country and the foolish government prey on patriotic sheep!!!! We the people are not to be ruled as I and many like you feel that we are “free”. The freedom I speak about is sovereignty in its every sense. We should be able to do what we want as long as we don’t encroach on the so called “patriotic sheep” freedom, if you know what I mean. People vote these idiots into office only to be ruled by these idiots and I am not only speaking about governance of this country but all countries in general. Getting screwed over and over by government seems to be accepted blindly because patriotic fools just don’t know better are are just fools. When will people open their eyes and refuse to be ruled and raped by governance all over the world. I hate having an I.D or any number that refers to me as an entity for I am a person and not a business or a slave for government. I should be able to have the right to be free and not to be victimized by subtle nuances in political advertisements by government for not voting. Remember people, YOU DON’T HAVE TO VOTE FOR ANYBODY TO LEAD YOU, YOU CAN LEAD YOURSELF.