'Which South Africans?' started trending on Twitter following DA leader John Steenhuisen's interview with SABC anchorwoman Flo Letoaba, which went viral on Thursday. Picture: Edited screengrab
'Which South Africans?' started trending on Twitter following DA leader John Steenhuisen's interview with SABC anchorwoman Flo Letoaba, which went viral on Thursday. Picture: Edited screengrab

'Which South Africans?' trends after John Steenhuisen's interview with SABC's Flo Letoaba

By Staff Reporter Time of article published May 15, 2020

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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:

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:

Letoaba then said that the SABC news team would be in contact to organise a interview with Maimane.

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