Controversial radio personality Gareth Cliff has penned an open letter to Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
In the letter Gareth said although he did not agree with the lockdown or with some of its rules, he was going to give the minister the respect she deserved.
“I watched your NCCC briefing today. I decided at the outset to give you the respect due to you – as an elder. Without the usual judgement that we’re all prone to, I listened not to get angry or find fault, but with an open mind”, he said.
He went on to say: “Minister, I see a woman who is directly in the vulnerable age group and who has put herself on the front-line, not someone commanding from a safe distance – most people your age are retired and relaxing at home. I see someone who appears to me to be trying her level best to navigate uncharted territory, just like all of us.
“You said yourself that (the) government has made mistakes and asked for our patience and support – and that isn’t asking much. I see someone who has overcome a great deal of adversity and male chauvinism, not to mention nastiness from a public who like to cast you as the villain. I feel it is time for us to find ways to be less destructive and more collaborative”.
He then went on to outline what he did not agree with the minister on.
He said that he was not worried by anyone who saw his letter as a u-turn from his letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“Now, I shouldn’t have to say this, but if I don’t people will think I’m a traitor to my principles: There are a great many things you and I disagree on – the tobacco ban, the liquor ban, the curfew – in fact, I have been against the lockdown from the start.
“I think it has done enormous damage to us, and to many other nations. Nobody will find themselves immune from this unprecedented situation, and the costs are mounting. No doubt some will interpret this letter as an about-turn, and just like the group who had a problem with my letter to the president, I don’t care if they don’t like me after this one.”
He ended the letter by saying that he loves the minister’s song by Max Hurrell.
Read the full letter here:
— Gareth Cliff (@GarethCliff) May 29, 2020