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‘I have hope’

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An open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa from Cathy de Lange, a working mother from Bloemfontein

Our dear President,

My name is Cathy de Lange. I am a working mom of three from Bloemfontein in the Free State. Tonight, on Thursday 9 April 2020, you delivered a message to the citizens of our beautiful South Africa that the current lockdown that we have in the country, will extend with two weeks.

Mr President, I have no idea what you must be going through. I look at you talking to the nation, telling us about what this awful disease is doing worldwide, about the economy and what the massive impact of this lockdown will be, I hear you giving up a chunk of your salary, I hear you talking about plans the government have in place and how you are going to try and support the poor in this time. I see sadness in your eyes. I see you pleading with us to endure the lockdown a little bit longer.

What I also see, Mr President, is you trying to be brave. Doing the best you can. Even thanking us as citizens for adhering (mostly) to the lockdown regulations. Thanking us for standing together as a nation. Putting on a brave face while you, just as most of us, must probably be so scared. The only difference is that I don’t have a country watching my every move and depending on me to make the right decisions. To be completely honest, I really would not want your job right now. 

This is such a strange time for us all. This awful thing out there wants to attack us and we can’t even see it. We don’t know how to avoid it. We are uncertain about so many things. And yet tonight, listening to our president, listening to you Mr Ramaphosa, I have hope. Listening to the actions you are taking and how you speak about even all political parties coming together, I have hope. You have a calm about you that talks to me through the screen I am watching you on. And heaven knows, we could all us a little calm at the moment.

As a Christian, I truly believe this calm is coming from God, and that the Holy Spirit is guiding you and your cabinet in this difficult time.

So tonight, as I sit here after putting my children to bed, I want to say thank you, Mr President. Thank you for stepping up when we needed you to.  Thank you for asking God to bless our beautiful country after every Covid-19 update. Thank you for trying to reassure a very uncertain people. 

I will pray for you tonight, as I do every night. I will pray for every single decision-maker in your cabinet and everyone involved in fighting this enormous fight. I will ask God to bless you all. Thank you for being the leader we so desperately need right now. 

I am sure I speak for all my fellow South Africans when I say that you are making us proud. We WILL get through this together.

Cathy de Lange

Bloemfontein