M-Net hits back at Gareth Cliff

Gareth Cliff is suing the broadcaster for unfair dismissal and defamation.

Gareth Cliff. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - M-Net has filed its answering affidavit opposing axed Idols judge Gareth Cliff's application to halt Idols auditions until he is reinstated.

If not reinstated, Cliff will be suing M-net for R25 million.

But the broadcaster says it will oppose the application, as Cliff has made it clear that he's not dependent on Idols for income.

M-Net says it was forced to review its relationship with Cliff after social media remarks it believes threatened its brand.

Cliff is suing the broadcaster for unfair dismissal and defamation following his comments on a racist Facebook post by Penny Sparrow.

This after the former estate agent called black beachgoers at Durban's beaches, monkeys.

In a tweet, Cliff wrote that "people don't understand free speech at all".

But the broadcaster says it hasn't caused any damage to his reputation and says any harm caused was through Cliff's own doing.

It also says it won't be delaying _Idols _auditions as this will have major financial implications.

The case is expected to be heard in court on Tuesday.