Court: M-Net must reinstate Gareth Cliff as 'Idols' judge

M-Net had parted ways with Gareth Cliff after he commented that people did not understand freedom of speech.

Gareth Cliff and his legal team will now study the judgement before having a press briefing on 30 January, 2016. Picture: Dineo Bendile/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The High Court has ruled in favour of Gareth Cliff, ordering M-Net to reinstate him as a judge on talent search TV show Idols with immediate effect.

Local broadcaster M-Net decided to part ways with him after he commented that people did not understand freedom of speech at the height of the uproar over a racist post by former realtor Penny Sparrow.

Cliff brought an urgent application calling for his dismissal to be reversed.

[JUST IN] #GarethCliff The High Court has ruled in favour of Gareth Cliff, ordering M-Net to reinstate him with immediate effect. DB.

Judge Caroline Nicholls has found that the email conversations between Cliff and Idols producers were binding.

She says Cliff's legal team has provided sufficient evidence that there was a contractual agreement.

Based on this, the court has ordered he be immediately reinstated.

M-Net has said the motive for his axing was the public outrage his tweet generated which created an image of him as a poster boy for racism.

People have reacted with mixed views to the judgment on Twitter: