Gareth Cliff and M-Net prepare to square off in court
M-Net axed Cliff from Idols this month following a comment he made regarding a racist Facebook post.
JOHANNESBURG - Radio personality Gareth Cliff will appear in the High Court in Johannesburg today in an effort to have Idols auditions halted, until his dismissal as an idols judge is reversed.
M-Net axed Cliff from the show this month following a comment he made regarding a racist Facebook post by Penny Sparrow.
Sparrow was trending on Twitter and South Africans reacted with outrage after she posted a comment expressing her disgust at seeing black beachgoers in KwaZulu-Natal.
In Cliff's post, he commented that people don't understand free speech.
M-Net says the view Cliff expressed showed division and anger in society, causing potential harm to its brand.
M-Net says Cliff has made it clear that he isn't dependent on the talent search show for income and that he even considered walking away.
Based on this and other factors, it believes its decision to fire him was not unlawful.
But the radio personality says his dismissal was unfair as he had already concluded talks for his return for the new Idols season, a claim M-Net denies.
M-Net's failure to reinstate Cliff will see him sue the broadcaster for R25 million.
SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENTS LAMBASTED
Many others have been criticised for making 'racist' comments on social media.
Earlier this month, a government employee, Velaphi Khumalo, was suspended after he called on black South Africans to do to white people what 'Hitler did to the Jews'.
He also expressed his hatred towards white people, saying they are all racist.
In a separate incident, Standard Bank suspended economist Christ Hart after he tweeted that 'More than 25 years after Apartheid ended, the victims are increasing along with a sense of entitlement and hatred towards minorities….'
More than 25 years after Apartheid ended, the victims are increasing along with a sense of entitlement and hatred towards minorities….
- Chris Hart (@chrishartZA) January 3, 2016
Standard Bank distanced itself from the comments made by the economist.
Meanwhile, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) launched an investigation into the comments, which could lead to further legal steps.