Gareth Cliff (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Gareth Cliff's legal time on Tuesday morning filed an urgent application to have the radio presenter reinstated as an Idols judge. The application was lodged in the High Court in Johannesburg.
M-Net has up until 10:00 on Wednesday, 20 January to oppose the application, and another 24 hours after that to file their answering papers.
On Monday, after failed negotiations between M-Net and Cliff's legal team, a notice of intent to continue with action to have the radio personality reinstated was served to the broadcaster. Cliff's lawyer, Erik Mabuza says M-Net made one major concession by agreeing to remove his image from advertising material. "This was a major concession. You can't have a situation where they say he is no longer part of Idols, but yet they still use his image."
The matter is set to be heard in court on 26 January, where Cliff is expected to appear. "We are saying to court, pending the determination of the R25m playing, this is what you must do as court: you must reinstate him. Two years from now, Idols will be finished. That is why we are going to court now."
Will Idols season 12 go ahead?
Should a judge decide that he will not be reinstated, the second part of the order is to halt Idols. Cliff's legal team says that papers filed request that season 12 of the show not go ahead as planned. With the matter expected to be heard on 26 January, only 4 days before the first set of auditions are due to be held in Durban, speculation on a delay has risen.
However, speaking to The Juice on Monday, and after receiving notice from Cliff's team on its intention to continue with legal action, M-Net remained unconcerned by the threat with the brpoaadcaster's head of public relations, Nondumiso Mabece saying it's business as usual. "At this point nothing has changed in the Idols schedule."
Cliff was axed from the show after M-Net said his comments on the Penny Sparrow race debate showed a 'lack of empathy.'