Radio and TV personality Gareth Cliff is headed to South Gauteng High Court with South Africa’s M-Net.
Gareth Cliff’s legal representative Advocate Dali Mpofu has however said that cliff and M-Net are not in court because of racial issues. Rather, he argued that they headed to the law court because of contractual issues. He said the contract between the duo existed until Cliff took to the social media and tweeted about freedom of speech.
“I must start by making it clear that this matter is not about whether Cliff is racist or not. Both parties agree that he is not. This is about the enforcement of a contractual right,”
“The question today is whether or not a contract existed between Cliff and M-Net, which stated that he would be a judge on the 2016 season of Idols,” said Mpofu.
However, while answering cliff’s claims, M-Net maintained that their contract with Gareth Cliff for 2016 Idol South Africa was not finalized.
Mpofu opined that the contract “was neither here or there”, whether verbal or written.
“Of course, if it is written, it is easier to prove, my lady. A verbal or written contract is binding by law, either way.”
“There can be no doubt that there was a contract, and that it was terminated unlawfully. The agreement was there until that tweet,” Mpofu said.
Mpofu further upheld his claim by going through various email communications between Gareth Cliff and M-Net. From the email, it was clear that the later confirmed dates for the audition, Cliff’s accommodation and additional increase in salary.
“My lady, and there is nowhere in M-Net’s public statements or announcements where it is stated that Cliff breached this or that and there the contract is cancelled… nothing.” Mpofu concluded.
It was obvious that Gareth Cliff was butted out following his post on tweeter some time ago. It would be recalled that the TV and Radio personality resorted to twitter to call for freedom of speech after Penny Sparrow was publicly criticized for referring to black beach goers as monkeys.
However, Gareth Cliff’s bid in court is to have the 2016 idols SA reality show terminated until he finds his way to the judging seat. Else, he should be compensated with R25 million for illegitimate firing and defamation. Idols SA audition is expected to kick-start by the end of January.
Amidst all the confusion, it has become quite clear that Gareth Cliff has a colorful history of making shady remarks. Several inciting statements about South Africa has been traced to the TV/Radio personality. Let’s take you back through the interesting list.
In 2011, the African National Congress Youth Leagues called for the termination of cliff’s contract after he said, “the people in Polokwane are charming, but not talented. There is one person from ‘Poloks’ among the finalists, all that driving and stuff – never again.”
In 2012, a complaint about cliff was discarded by The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa. Prior to the case dismissal, cliff had answered a female radio caller “Dear Bitch” on 5FM breakfast show. The commission struck the complaint out on the basis that cliff did so in a “playful and melodramatic manner”.
He said that the new statue of King Shaka should be torn down when he said “I like the fact that King Shaka has an airport named after him. That doesn’t mean I have to like King Shaka. Cecil John Rhodes may have been the most successful imperialist agent of Victorian Britain, but his contribution to history (let alone education) is unquestionable.”
Reacting to popular estate agent Penny Sparrow’s speech which reads;
“These monkeys that are allowed to be released on New Years Eve and New Years day on to public beaches towns etc obviously have no education what so ever and to allow them loose is inviting huge dirt and discomfort to others”.
“From now I. Shall address the blacks of South Africa as monkeys as I see the cute little wild monkeys do the same pick drop and litter.”
Cliff took to twitter to fuel the flames of racism in a speech he posted which reads “People really don’t understand free speech at all.”.
More information about the said court battle will be related as events unfold.