Yikes! Nando’s has decided to part ways with shock jock Gareth Cliff, in the wake of a cringeworthy debate on racism he hosted on his online radio station CliffCentral. Cliff has been the subject of condemnation and online outrage after he told One South Africa Movement spokesperson Mudzuli Rakhivhane that her experiences with racism were “not important.”
Rakhivhane, Cliff and DA leader John Steenhuisen were talking about the Phoenix posters which sparked furore just recently. The DA caught fire for putting up its posters which read: “The ANC calls you racists, the DA calls you heroes.” – this is in reference to the violence which broke out in the area back in July.
Clips of the exchange went viral on social media and even prompted a boycott of Nando’s, which sponsored the programme The Burning Platform on CliffCentral.
Nando’s takes action over Gareth Cliff saga
Now Nando’s has been forced to proactively respond to the controversy surrounding Gareth Cliff, who is no stranger to such controversy. In a statement released on Saturday afternoon, 23 October 2021, the restaurant chain stresses that it does support healthy debate and the right to freedom of speech.
“There are many instances in which Nando’s has not agreed with the opinions of both guests and presenters on Cliff Central, but we have upheld their right to express those views as a core component of a healthy constitutional democracy. 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,” Nando’s said.
Nando’s adds the debate was highly disappointing and at odds with the reasons it decided to enter into a partnership with Cliff in the first place, five years ago.
“We have made this known to Gareth Cliff and the Cliff Central Team and have urged them to address this with their audiences as a matter of priority. As a result of Gareth’s actions on 21 October 2021, we have also made the decision to terminate our sponsorship of The Burning Platform with immediate effect”