BLF letter to Ramaphosa: COVID-19, 1 million will die, shutdown SA!

BLF letter to Ramaphosa: COVID-19, 1 million will die, shutdown SA!

The Presidency
President Cyril Ramaphosa
Union Buildings
Government Avenue
22 March 2020

Email: [email protected]

Dear President Ramaphosa


I write to you as the President of Black First Land First (BLF) to ask you to act now and save a million lives.

I ask you to forget about profits for a little while for the sake of our lives. After the Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize told the nation to prepare for up to 70% of the population to be infected by COVID-19, we knew that a million people will die if you don’t act decisively now! Don’t let this happen on your watch. We speak now so that no one would say, they didn’t know.

The only way to put real effort into stopping possible mass deaths is to immediately shut down the country. COVID-19 is real and its impact would be catastrophic. Italy took the same indifferent attitude at the beginning that your government is taking and now they are reaping the whirlwind. Italy can’t deal with the mass deaths it is experiencing. Let South Africa (SA) not go that route. It can be done and it has been done. Abandon the West and follow China and Cuba. Show moral rectitude, defy your sponsors, be patriotic, say no to profits from death, and history shall remember you as one who blocked the trend.

Tell the truth Mr President. Tell the nation that the policy you are implementing right now is that of “herd immunity”. This policy explains where Dr Mkhize got the projections of 60 to 70% of the population getting infected. His figures can only come from a formula based on ‘herd immunity’. We have to ask, have you Mr President treasonously withheld from the nation the truth about the policy you have chosen to adopt and its implications? The ‘herd immunity’ path, which is being implemented without being announced, will see between 60 to 70% of the population being infected which is 41 million people; 19% of the population becoming seriously ill and needing hospitalization, which is 8 million people; 2.3% of the population dying, which is almost 1 million people. I have no sanitized words to express this calamity. Mr President that death toll may grow exponentially given our prevalent existing medical conditions such as HIV, TB, diabetes and scores of other illnesses. We are a nation struggling with our health as it is.

Mr President. Tell the nation the full truth. Tell us you are following the ‘herd immunity‘ policy and we must prepare to die so that you may save 30% from contracting the virus. I can’t help but think that your assumption is that Alexandra will die so that Sandton may live. I say this because your policies to date have been elite centric. Do not sacrifice us for the elite. Save all because it’s possible. We ask you to abandon the “herd Immunity” policy for a people centred policy. We aren’t asking you to do the impossible. We ask you to starve your donors like Aspen of the opportunity to profit from the pandemic. Rather look to Cuba and China without further delay.

Tell us without delay the race, gender and age of those who have been diagnosed to be positive. The truth here is the path to salvation. It’s time to take to heart Amilcar Cabral’s injunction, “tell no lies, claim no easy victories”. We ask you to give the nation the race, gender and age breakdown of the infected. Let us see the full picture as it emerges.

The main import of this letter is to ask you to shut down the country forthwith! Let nothing move. Set up curfews. Let no train or taxi move from tomorrow. Let no mine shaft sink. Let no factory open it’s doors. Let no university or any institution that can be stopped, not stop. Quarantine the whole country! Shutdown the border. Make sure the aircraft remain grounded. This is the first important task. Once there is a lockdown, please announce measures to serve people instead of business. To this end:

1. Free testing and Nationalize the healthcare sector.
2. Provide a universal income grant to all and financial bailout to small businesses.
3. Put a moratorium on mortgage bond and rental payments.
4. Grant free water and elecrity to all.
5. Grant free data for all.
6. Grant no payment of subscription to any television network.
7. Grant full paid leave for the employed.
8. Give the over 1000 Clinical Associates in the Health sector their powers back including prescription of medicines up to schedule four.
9. Deal with the backlog of licensing medical school graduates from the black universities.
10. Love this nation enough to save it from the coming Armageddon.

It’s time for great vision, great moral conviction and great sacrifices. It’s time to put the people first. It can be done. China did it with the help of our old friend and comrade, Cuba. We do not lack solutions. We only lack conviction. We ask you to lead. Do the right thing, SHUTDOWN THE COUNTRY for at least three months.

If I have spoken too frankly, it’s only because I hope to be plain and avoid any ambiguity. We are facing a clear and present danger as a people, and you as the first citizen have to lead us to salvation or leave us in hell. We ask you to chose life over profits.


Andile Mngxitama
President, Black First Land First

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