Gareth Cliff gets grilled, Nando's pulls the plug as political debate goes wrong

Gareth Cliff gets grilled, Nando's pulls the plug as political debate goes wrong

Nando's has announced the termination of its sponsorship on Cliff's Burning Platform show following a racist incident.

The Burning Platform Gareth Cliff
photo from video

Cliff's discussion on the Burning Platform features DA Leader John Steenhuisen and community activist Mudzuli Rakhivhane.

The political debate on the upcoming elections. The controversy began after Cliff insinuated that racism was not as big a problem as poor service delivery and went on to say that nobody cared about Rakhivhane's racial experiences as a black person in South Africa.

"I don't think that many people are interested. In fact, the IRR [Institute of Race Relations] has shown us endless reports of people who say that racism is at the bottom of their list of priorities and concerns."  - Gareth Cliff

Here's the clip below, posted by Rakhivhane.

Cliff's comments sparked outrage on social media, with many also questioning the brand took to Twitter to with the following response, and later followed it up with an official statement.

Here's the full statement by Nando's:

Nando’s supports healthy debate and the right to freedom of speech. For this reason, we have for years invested in supporting multiple platforms that enable open discussion of the big issues facing South Africans.

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 21st October 2021, 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.  

This is highly disappointing to Nando’s and at odds with the reasons that we originally entered into our sponsorship of The Burning Platform more than 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 21st October 2021, we have also made the decision to terminate our sponsorship of The Burning Platform with immediate effect.

- Nando's, South Africa

Main image attribution: Screenshot/Twitter

Show's Stories