'It's in the hands of the legal team': Gareth keeping mum over R25 million lawsuit against M-Net

By Shanaaz Prince
18 January 2016

After what's has been called a "wrongful dismissal", radio personality, Gareth Cliff takes legal action against M-Net after firing him as Idols SA judge.

Gareth Cliff is fighting back though after what he deems to be a "wrongful dismissal" when he was sacked as an Idols SA judge earlier this month.

According to reports, the former 5FM DJ is suing the broadcaster for R5 million for defamation and R20 million for breach of contract.

"He is suing for R25 million, including for defamation of character," his lawyer, Eric Mabuza told eNCA.  He added that the M-Net had fired Gareth without having a "proper hearing".

While Gareth himself has kept mum, his manager Rina Broomberg told YOU, "We don't have any further comment, it's in the hands of our legal team."

Gareth landed himself in hot water after weighing in on the Penny Sparrow race debacle on social media, implying that the estate agent's rant about Durban beach goers constituted free speech.

Immediately after the post, Gareth was lambasted by the public as being racist and demanded that he be removed off of the show. M-Net soon came to the party and made an announcement that he would no longer be part of the judging panel.

Apologetic for what he had done, Gareth took to his blog to share his feelings on the issue.

“My response on Twitter was not to Penny Sparrow but to a tweet about a survey on freedom of speech which spiralled out of control. Instead of engagement and reviewing the context, the ANCYL (my ANC!!) tweet out with a call to march on DStv until they remove me,” he wrote.

Gareth added that he would focus all his energy on his radio station, CliffCentral.

The former shock jock is set to be represented by Advocate Dali Mpofu, Mabuza said "because we find him to be a very good counsel."

Head of public relations for local entertainment channels at M-Net, Nondumiso Mabece confirmed Gareth's legal action and said that they would provide an update on the happenings.

"M-Net can confirm that a letter of demand was received from Gareth Cliff and we are currently consulting our lawyers.  We will respond to the letter of demand in due course"

Additional sources: enca.com; iol.co.za

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