‘Gareth Cliff is not a racist’

According to The Citizen, Cliff’s lawyer, Advocate Dali Mpofu began proceedings in the High Court making it clear that Cliff was not a racist and that the matter was rather about the enforcement of contractual rights.

Cliff was dismissed by MNet, from his role as an Idols SA judge, after he tweeted a controversial response to real-estate agent, Penny Sparrow’s racist statements about black beach-goers. He suggested that her statements could be considered freedom of speech.

Both parties reportedly agreed, in court, that Cliff was not a racist.

Mpofu said the conduct of MNet was against constitutional values and the existence of a contract is the primary issue.

Mpofu referred to emails exchanged between Cliff and MNet regarding scheduling arrangements for the new season of Idols SA that were made prior Cliff’s Twitter blunder.

In December last year Cliff reportedly received emails regarding the new season of the talent show and was told his new contract would be sent to him. Cliff was also informed that he would receive a 6 percent increase in salary.

Mpofu said of MNet, “Now the truth has come out that all they were protecting was their commercial and business interest.”

“We want to be there on Friday,” Mpofu said of Idols SA auditions which are set to take place in Durban on 30 January.

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