On Saturday the 28th of March 2020, controversial South African poet Ntsiki Mazwai wrote an open letter to the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa. In the letter, that has been met with mixed feelings by South Africans, Mazwai accuses Ramaphosa of many atrocities. Below is the copy of the letter.
Dear Mr President
41806 views | Sat, 28th of March, 2020
Dear Mr President
I feel like because you were never held accountable to Marikana so you didn’t learn the lesson and now you’re about to repeat the mistake on a larger scale. The fact that you broke up the company and sold it off essentially means that you ran away. The families of Marikana can ONLY remember you for how you impacted and changed their lives for the worst. You didn’t fix anything… You ran away.
Here we are again at the same place. In a different way but it’s the same lesson. You have a tendency of putting money ahead of your own people. You have a tendency to appease the white master at the expense of your people. You will never be able to rationalize why you’re a billionaire in such a poverty stricken country and we can’t point to anything you have created. Mr president you are part of the capitalist problem that oppresses Africans on this continent.
Your white solutions are not going to work on African people. We do not have equal footing. Lucky you, 21 days will do NOTHING to your livelihood, for the vast majority of us Africans, this 21days is the difference between making ends meet and bankruptcy. You live in your nice big house in Sandhurst while the vast majority of us, in just one of your rooms we have to fit almost 10people. You planned this quarantine from a place of privilege where you didn’t consider the poverty on the ground. Have you ever been into a Squatter Camp? That’s where a lot of your people live, because instead of getting us our land back in 94, you anc comrades sold us for big houses in the North and German cars.
YOU can afford not to work for 21days, Mr President, we can’t.
You have a car for you to adhere to one person per car, Mr Ramaphosa the majority of your people are stacked up in dehumanizing cramped up taxis and busses. Mr President you have never had to be squashed up in masihlalisane 4 4 so you are in no position to talk so Big. To a lot of us you are nothing but a life version of Seargant Sabela on Sarafina. Sigh.
Mr President you have now let loose an untrained army to go play power games in the townships. I am yet to see the army terrorize the elite in suburbia but it’s Day 2 of the quarantine and I am already seeing videos of army personelle abusing black people. You said spaza’s remain open but it doesnt seem to be the case.
Now let’s address the fattest and pinkest elephant in the room. Mr President the people who are gaining the most financially from this Lock down is white big business. Again we find you here in the middle of a situation where whites are benefiting while your people suffer? We are seeing the shopping stores owned by your white associates….. Their stock is being wiped out at the speed of lightening. This is BILLIONS of money they are making. BILLIONS. On Black Friday they often report that they make more money in one day than they do in a month. That’s millions in one day. This period of panic buying has lasted more than one day, Mr president your white friends are making a lot of money from this…. How are they giving back to the country in this time of crisis? Pls don’t tell me about the money they donated because that money is paying for itself in profits. We are paying for our own donation. Mr president how much are your white friends paying the tellers for risking their lives in this time? Or are the billions being made coming to you and them? I’m just asking. Because to me it looks like you have sold the lives of the staff of checkers, shoprite and woolies. They can get sick as long as your masters get paid. Mr President I don’t understand your leadership.
Mr President what should we do with our bills month end? Most of us live from hand to mouth to be honest. So did you have a plan in place for us? How do we pay rent, electricity and water when you called for our work to be canceled but you continue and will earn your big salaries from MULTIPLE ‘BEE’ incomes? I understand you MPs earn just under R100 000 a month so it’s no wonder we don’t see panic in your eyes.
You told people to remain home but a lot of people in Jozi are migrant laborers. I’m so confused. Were we all supposed to board our private aeroplanes like your friends and go back to the homelands?
You have put us in a scary position where once the Africans start getting hungry we are gonna have a Marikana part2 because indla ibanga ulaka……..
I am not scared of Corona but I am scared of the instability this period of hunger can create for our country.
Mr PRESIDENT besides closing our taps of small income what is your PLAN?
HOW do we move forward financially?
I ask you with humility and respect
Mr President don’t be fooled by the silence, don’t think us women didn’t notice when you and Mr Malema protected each other when the domestic violence smoke came up.
SOURCE: Ntsiki Mazwai Blog
The poet’s father, former journalist and anti-apartheid activist, Thami Mazwai has distanced himself and his wife from the scathing open letter.
Mazwai said he was “disappointed and shocked” at his daughter’s letter which accused Ramaphosa of among others “appeasing the white master” and “putting money ahead of your own people”.
“I believe that all of you are aware of the high esteem in which I personally hold our government,” Thami said.
“The efforts by President Ramaphosa and his colleagues show their commitment to our people. I thus, on behalf of my wife and I distance us from the comments by Ntsiki.” He labeled his daughter’s comments as “not only unfortunate, but uncalled for in a situation in which all of us must hold hands.
“I doff my hat to the President for his resolute action to save us from this pandemic, and my thanks to the Cabinet and civil service who are working day and night to stop this virus.”
By Constance van Niekerk, SA