Don't piss us off, we out number your cops & soldiers – Gareth Cliff's shocking letter to Ramaphosa

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Cliff says people are only afraid of what the virus is doing to the economy

Radio DJ and Businessman Gareth Cliff wrote a scathing open letter accompanied by audio to President Cyril Ramaphosa regarding lockdown.

Cliff stresses that many people are not afraid of the virus [COVID-19] but only the effect the virus has to the economy.

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On the letter and audio, Gareth Cliff warned Ramaphosa that there are many people more than there are police. This was in reference to the laws that may not please citizens including the banning of cigarette sales in the country.

“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,” Cliff said.

“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,” he added.

The radio presenter lambasted the ANC saying people have already had 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that the ANC will fix parastatals, cronyism, kleptocracy and for once and for all cease their childish flirtation with outdated and failed socialist ideas.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 throatsm” Cliff said.

Read the full letter here. Part of the audio is available below.

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)…

His comments sparked an outcry on social media with many calling him out for speaking on behalf of "us".


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