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WATCH: Gareth Cliff talks about Penny Sparrow backlash

2017-03-02 13:59
Gareth Cliff (CliffCentral)

Cape Town - In 2016 Gareth Cliff came under severe criticism for defending Penny Sparrows' right to free speech.

Now the Cliff Central entrepreneur has spoken out about how those comments hurt his new business.

The moment happened at an event hosted by The Free Market Foundation on Wednesday night.

A member of the audience asked Gareth if (with the benefit of hindsight) he would still defend Penny Sparrows' right to free speech, to which Gareth simply replied "no" and explained how his fledgling business lost large commercial sponsors.

Gareth went on to say that he still supports free speech but he has to make a living.

He elaborated, “I’m a capitalist and I believe in freedom of expression. And I will stand up for it wherever I can‚ but in that particular case‚ if I could wind back the clock‚ I would have avoided the whole thing. It wasn’t my fight. I was drawn in and because I was a bigger fish than Penny Sparrow‚ a lot of the heat came my way.”

See Gareth's full speech here: