Gareth Cliff explains his Senzo funeral comment
Gareth Cliff feels that he raised a good question by asking who's paying for Senzo Meyiwa's funeral. The Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana captain and goalkeeper was shot and killed last Sunday. He was buried in Durban on Saturday.
The radio personality was attacked after posting the question on Twitter on Saturday, with some people calling him racist.
On his website, Gareth described the funeral as extraordinary. He said in his memory, it's only politicians who have been buried like this. "In fact some of the great stalwarts of the struggle have had much smaller ceremonies at their funerals. This was the first time I can recall when a non-politician has been accorded a funeral so large and impressive," he wrote on his website.
He said if the politicians paid for the funerals, it means "we" paid for it. "I don’t mind if we paid for Senzo’s funeral, but I mind that I am the bad guy for asking the question. I mind it a lot. I was called every kind of vulgar thing by a horde of the least eloquent, most furious, marauding lunatics I didn’t know, and who couldn’t have all known Senzo either."
Gareth says that people's fury betrayed that there was more anger at Senzo's death than anyone could quantify. "The same anger poor Kelly Khumalo had to deal with earlier in the week – but it also showed that when a mob need a scapegoat, any excuse will do. Sadly, for a time, I became more important to these angry people than Senzo."
Gareth added that he did not ask the question to be controversial or because he was looking for attention. "I am furious too – furious that a great footballer is dead, another innocent man killed for no good reason."
He added: "At times like these I am tempted to dismiss the idea of a ‘Rainbow Nation’ but I am reminded by our history and our greatest leaders that we have much more that binds us than that which divides us."