Gareth Cliff has come under fire for an open letter he wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa about his views on the coronavirus lockdown

The radio personality criticised the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic in SA, saying that South Africans are losing hope.

“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,” he wrote in the letter. 

The CliffCentral founder also questioned several decisions made by government. 

“… 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. 

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“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.”

 

 

Hulisani Ravele was one of the first celebrities to speak out against Gareth’s open letter

 “Don’t know why listening to that Garett Cliff clip made me cry. It’s a pity privilege is a disease you cannot die from. Lockdown was never going to be easy or comfortable, it was a necessity.

“It was never going to be perfect either (not the brutality cos that’s just wrong),” the media personality tweeted.

 

Sizwe Dhlomo also weigh-in on Gareth’s remarks. 

“Yo @GarethCliff, 2 corrections here quickly. 1.) it’s not just about your own health, it’s about everyone else’s as well. 2.) It’s not “us against the government”, it’s you against the government & if I feel like you’re a hazard to those I love, then it’s you against me,” he wrote. 

 

Gareth’s “shocking” letter got mixed reviews on social media

Some Twitter users accused him of inciting violence. 

“This racist thug should be arrested for inciting violence. He is no different to Steve Hofmeyr, they always hated black people,” one Twitter user wrote.

Another added: “Gareth Cliff speaks from bosom of white privilege. He knows there is no SAPS or SANDF that could ever conceive of unleashed violence on white bodies. No one fears white bodies like SA repressive apparatuses. They are designed to protect white bodies from the rest of us.”

A third person wrote: “I find it rather funny that whites use the black experience as a talking point when they voice their grievances to government. Job insecurity, living in informal settlements, poverty. None of these things they experience. They must speak from their own social standing. Not ours.”

Some Twitter users came to Gareth’s defence.

“Ntsiki Mazwai wrote an open scathing letter the president. No uproar. Gareth Cliff wrote an open scathing letter to the same president, Cyril Ramaphosa. The self-appointed lynch mob and vigilante are already baying for his blood. Why? Answer’s very simple Gareth is a white male.”