Gareth Cliff wins legal case against M-Net

Gareth Cliff has won his court case against M-Net, following his dismissal from reality show Idols.

Cliff’s removal from the show followed a backlash on Twitter after he commented on a Facebook post by KwaZulu-Natal realtor Penny Sparrow.

Sparrow had called black beachgoers monkeys. Cliff then tweeted: “People really don’t understand free speech at all.”

The High Court in Johannesburg decided on 29 January that Cliff must be reinstated as a judge on Idols with immediate effect.

“This is a contractual dispute. The contractual relationship has to be reinstated to what it was. M-Net will pay costs to Gareth Cliff,” Nicholls told a packed court.

Cliff’s lawyer Dali Mpofu and M-Net’s legal representative Wim Trengove originally presented their arguments in the high court on 26 January.

Mpofu argued that his axing was the worst form of racism, while M-Net’s Wim Trengove tried to convince the court that the broadcaster never had a contract with Cliff.

Cliff wanted his job back and R25 million for defamation and breach of contract.

Auditions for Idols 2016 will begin at The Playhouse in Durban on 30 January.

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Gareth Cliff wins legal case against M-Net