South African radio personality Gareth Cliff has always been an individual marred in controversy, but he seems to have taken the line and thrown it across the room after calling a young black woman’s experience regarding racism as “completely unimportant.”
The racist remark has since gone viral with many South Africans sharing their own stories regarding racism in South Africa after One South Africa Movement member Mudzuli Rakhivhane shared her experience with Cliff on Twitter.
In response to the controversy, Lance Witten, editor-and-chief at IOL released an incredibly powerful response: “Don’t you dare assume that my lived experience or the lived experience of other people of colour can be seen through your sanitised lens. Don’t you dare assume that race and identity politics doesn’t affect absolutely every aspect of my life and every sphere of my existence.”
On October 22, Nando’s hosted a heated conversation titled The Burning Platform: OneSA vs The DA with Cliff, Rakhivhane and the leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) John Steenhuisen.
The online show was meant to provide a platform to facilitate a conversation between the three individuals regarding the upcoming elections and their stance on racism within South Africa.
However, the conversation soon spiralled out of control after the three individuals were discussing whether service delivery was a smaller problem than race-baiting, reports The South African. Cliff and Rakhivhane soon went head-to-head as the two began speaking over each other, leading to the controversial comment.
“The IRR has shown us endless reports of people who say that racism is at the bottom of their list of priorities and concerns,” said Cliff.
“They obviously don’t experience the kind of racism that I experience on a daily basis,” said Rakhivhane.
“Your personal experiences are completely anecdotal and unimportant to all of us, sorry,” retorted Cliff.
Check out the full viral clip below:
When they try to talk over you and tell you that your experiences as a black woman in South Africa do not matter🤦🏽♀️. Racism is structural and even operates at a municipal level. The literal definition of black lives don’t matter. 💀 pic.twitter.com/i2KcVzjcCd
— Mudzuli Rakhivhane (@mudzy_r) October 22, 2021
The Nandos Controversy
Nandos has since come under fire for their refusal to distance themselves from Cliff, instead, releasing a lacklustre statement that has left South Africans far from thrilled.
The two-tweet thread, which was posted on Friday night saw the South African food chain respond to the controversial debate and the disgraceful comments made.
“We know that you know what happened in the exchange between the panelists on The Burning Platform on 21st October 2021. We are a proudly South African brand that takes the right to freedom of speech very seriously.
“We do not, and will never, invalidate anyone’s experiences of condone racism in any form.
“We are taking this serious matter under review.”
We know that you know what happened in the exchange between the panelists on The Burning Platform on 21st October 2021. We are a proudly South African brand that takes the right to freedom of speech very seriously. [1/2]
— NandosSA (@NandosSA) October 22, 2021
We do not, and will never, invalidate anyone’s experiences or condone racism in any form. We are taking this serious matter under review. [2/2]
— NandosSA (@NandosSA) October 22, 2021
However, Mzanzi’s rage remains unquenched with many users taking aim at the “under review” aspect of the statement while One South Africa Moment Leader Mmusi Maimane called the response “Very lemon and herb”.
Very lemon and herb.
— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) October 23, 2021
Racism in South Africa is still very much a reality. Earlier this week, another tweet went viral after a black man was unable to rent a home because he was not white. To state that someone’s experience within what is meant to be the “rainbow nation” is disgraceful. South Africans appear to agree with many taking to Twitter to shower the platform with rage.
Here are a few responses:
I hate cancel culture, but if I was going to give it a bash I think I would start with Gareth Cliff.
— Mike Law (@MikeLaw111) October 22, 2021
Every time I listen to something that Gareth Cliff has to say, I wonder why people think some random DJ/podcaster is held up as this amazing intellectual who needs to be listened to
— Vaughan Lovegrove (@vonkarama) October 22, 2021
I stopped watching the entire thing the moment he “gave” her a chance to respond and went on to talk over her. Aargh! Makes me sick.
— Bongane Shongwe (@Edmond_Shongwe) October 22, 2021
The moment I saw Gareth Cliff trending I just knew South Africa’s favourite racist was at it again
— Nonny Nkambule (@Nonny_Nkambule) October 22, 2021
Picture: The Burning Platform: OneSA vs The DA with Cliff