'Which South Africans?' trends after John Steenhuisen's interview with SABC's Flo Letoaba
Cape Town - A clip from DA leader John Steenhuisen's interview with SABC anchorwoman Flo Letoaba went viral on Thursday night after she asked which South Africans he spoke for.
The 2-minute clip, which was posted to Twitter on Thursday, is from a 9-minute interview Steenhuisen conducted with the SABC to discuss the party's decision to file papers in the High Court challenging the rationality of three separate lockdown-related issues – the night curfew, the ban on e-commerce or online shopping as well as the restriction on exercise hours.
"You've said in the press briefing that you had, that South Africans are begging for clarity on the way forward... Which South Africans are you speaking for, and which conversations are you having, with whom and where?" Letoaba asked.
"Well I'm having conversations with South Africans, who are frankly fed up with the lack of information," Steenhuisen said.
"Which Souths Africans? And where?" Letoaba inquired.
"Would you like me to provide you with a list of them? I mean what are you asking?" Steenhuisen responded, as the interview quickly escalated.
"That would be great," Letoaba answered. "I'm asking where are you having these (conversations)... Which thousands of South Africans?"
Steenhuisen then replied he was having this conversation with South Africans on social media, and brought up his show CoronaCast which he hosts twice a week.
"...you should tune in some time," Steenhuisen said, to which Letoaba said she would. "We interact with lots and lots of citizens that send through their queries. I receive a lot of correspondences as the leader of the opposition from citizens who are fed up."
"So you are talking for those people you are interacting with? Not necessarily all of South Africans?" Letoaba asked. "Because what you've said is that 'South Africans are begging for clarity', I need to know which South Africans?"
Steenhuisen cut in to answer, however, Letoaba requested he allow her to finish speaking. The interview thereafter grew increasingly tense with both speaking over each other as Letoaba requested to get her point across and Steenhuisen repeatedly asking, "would you like a list?"
Letoaba then said: "If I look at social media, a lot of people are saying that there should be lockdown regulations in place?"
Steenhuizen answered "a lot of people" were saying the lockdown regulations were not working, and that decisions had "absolutely no basis in both the health perspective and a rationality perspective".
"...I am very glad that the president has got you in his corner because he has obviously been speaking to you," Steenhuisen told Letoaba.
She laughed off his reply before saying, "I am not going to get a rational conversation here, but thank you very much for giving us your time."
After the clip was posted to social media, "Which South Africans?" quickly began trending with many people commenting on the interview:
"Which South Africans?" - @Flo_Letoaba (2020)— Keratilwe (@Trixx_Ray) May 14, 2020
Let me clarify for those who don't know which South Africans @jsteenhuisen is talking to 1) constantia moms who can't have Wednesday brunches at tashas 2) surfers who say lockdown=apartheid 3) the chick who wants to do yoga all over the show https://t.co/1PYeUJJsIg— Raees (@razzi_parks) May 14, 2020
I think if we find out which South Africans on these streets are not blocked by Johan Steenhuisen then we will know which South Africans he was speaking for. 🤔— Bianca van Wyk🇿🇦 (@BiancavanWyk16) May 14, 2020
The Journalist who asked the DA politician which south africans was biased..she clearly does not believe south africans are suffering especially black ones and can share this info with a white politician... She let racial differences cloud her judgement..she needs to be impartial— Mandla Pule (@PuleMandla) May 15, 2020
This year's history exam should consist of only one question which South Africans— QUARANTINE QB (@conouser) May 15, 2020
[100 marks] pic.twitter.com/jmAay7l84c
DA is right on track, doing a brilliant job as opposition, question asked today 15 May 2020 "which South Africans" was rather rude and naive, DA is a South African political party— Jaycee Molale (@molale_jaycee) May 15, 2020
Letoaba thanked those for watching and also for the feedback that she received. Even former DA leader Mmusi Maimane shared his opinion on the interview:
Anyway, thanks for watching, thanks for the compliments, feedback etc, those who hated it, unfortunately I can’t please ALL South Africans. Sorry I can’t respond to everyone, there’s far too much & I’ve probably missed half the tweets anyway 😬 Goodnight. Sleep tight ❤️— Flo Letoaba - Duchess of Diepkloof (@Flo_Letoaba) May 14, 2020
You see I think the key is respect. Ubuntu. That’s all that we need. Journalists have a job to do, we must respect that and be professional in how we respond, i-straight lendaba. pic.twitter.com/xMGiPS3uG0— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) May 14, 2020
Letoaba then said that the SABC news team would be in contact to organise a interview with Maimane.
Tomorrow. My team will call you. 3pm??? https://t.co/HD8lP3mHbi— Flo Letoaba - Duchess of Diepkloof (@Flo_Letoaba) May 14, 2020