Poet and social commentator Ntsiki Mazwai divided social media this weekend over her “open letter” to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The letter published on her social media accounts, questions whether President Ramaphosa thoroughly considered the socioeconomic reality of poor South Africans before declaring a 21-day countrywide lockdown due to the to rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in the country.

Mazwai accuses President Ramaphosa of having taken the decision from a place of privilege, to the detriment of the poor majority.

She also raises concerns that only big retailers will benefit from the lockdown.

Below is the letter in an audio form, recorded by Mazwai, which she divided into three parts.

 

In the  second clip, Mazwai questions the deployment of SANDF in townships.

“Mr president you have let loose of untrained army to go and play power games in the township. I’m yet to see the army terrorising the elite in suburban.”

 

The letter has divided social media users, with some people claiming that Mazwai only points out problems but offer no solutions, while others support her utterances and say it is government’s responsibility to provide solutions not Mazwai.

The poet’s father, former journalist and anti-apartheid activist Dr Thami Mazwai, distanced himself and his wife from the letter.

Expressing shock and disappointment, Mazwai senior hailed President Ramaphosa, the Cabinet and civil servants for their efforts to save South Africans from the pandemic.

The Presidency has not responded to the letter.