News / South Africa / Local News

Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
25 Oct 2021
12:50 pm

Gareth Cliff to be reported to SAHRC over ‘racist incident’

Citizen Reporter

Cliff's comments led to significant backlash and public outrage, with many accusing him of being a racist, among other things.

Gareth Cliff. Picture: Gallo Images / Rapport / Deon Raath

After losing his sponsorship with Nando’s, problems are piling up for under-fire radio personality Gareth Cliff.

‘Racism, bigotry’

This comes as non-profit organisation (NPO), South African Natives Forum, prepares to file a complaint with the South African Human Rights Council (SAHRC) against Cliff.

The matter relates to an incident where Cliff recently told One South Africa Movement member and social activist Mudzuli Rakhivhane that her experience of racism as “completely anecdotal and unimportant.”

The incident took place on Cliff’s show, The Burning Platform, with Rakhivhane and Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen this past Thursday.

ALSO READ: ‘Disgustingly unbelievable’: Gareth Cliff tells black woman her experience of racism isn’t important

In a two-page statement released on Monday, SA Natives Forum said it condemned “the continued racism, bigotry, and injustice displayed in the strongest terms”.

“We condemn Gareth Cliff for treating Mudzuli Rakhivhane in such a racist manner to a point of saying nobody cares about the racism she experiences as a black woman.

“We will be reporting this racist incident to the Human Rights Commission,” the organisation said.

‘Anecdotal, unimportant’

During the panel debate, Rakhivhane challenged Steenhuisen over his insistence that the DA’s campaign for the upcoming local elections had focused on service delivery.

She then brought up party’s election posters in Phoenix and accused the DA of stirring racial tension.

The unsanctioned posters were put up in the KwaZulu-Natal region earlier this month, and read:  “The ANC called you racists” and “The DA calls you heroes”.

The posters were eventually taken down after the DA apologised.

Cliff then claimed as the debate continued that race was “at the bottom of the list” for many South Africans, further saying that Rakhivhane’s experience was “completely anecdotal” and “unimportant”.

His comments led to significant backlash and public outrage, with many accusing Cliff of being a racist, among other things.

READ MORE: ‘Being on Gareth Cliff’s show like being in a taxi’ – Steenhuisen

This also prompted Nando’s, who sponsored Cliff’s show, to release a statement saying it would be terminating its relationship with immediate effect.

“In the case of The Burning Platform episode aired on [Thursday], Nando’s is of the view that Gareth Cliff failed to create an environment where free speech was possible by talking over Mudzuli Rakhivhane and dismissing her view whilst not allowing her to adequately express it,” the fast food chain said.

Nando’s had initially tweeted that it supported “the right to freedom of speech” shortly after the incident occurred.

Meanwhile, SA Natives Forum further slammed Nando’s for not criticising Cliff’s racism when terminating their sponsorship.

“That means they condone his racism. From now on, we will view any company that sponsors Gareth Cliff and his work as racist too,” the organisation said.

It also condemned the DA’s posters.

Additional reporting by Kaunda Selisho and Gareth Cotterell