Nando’s has responded to the Gareth Cliff / Burning Platform viral video that has caused outrage across South Africa, posting a statement on social media about an hour before midnight on Friday evening. (UPDATE: Nando’s terminates sponsorship of Gareth Cliff’s The Burning Platform)
The offending video includes just over two minutes of footage from an almost hour-long interview/debate between the spokesperson of Mmusi Maimane’s One South Africa, Mudzuli Rakhivhane, and Federal Leader of the Democratic Alliance, John Steenhuisen. The show, presented by Gareth Cliff, is sponsored by Nando’s.
It is Cliff’s dismissive stance that has upset many South Africans, coupled with Steenhuisen’s silence whilst Cliff talks over Rakhivhane and tells her that “your personal experience is completely anecdotal and unimportant to all of us”. Cliff was referring to voters in SA, in the lead up to the elections, who he says are only interested in themselves.
The full interview was posted on YouTube on Thursday, and excerpts were posted by Rakhivhane on Twitter on Friday. She said: “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. 💀”
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
Many social media users were outraged and called for Nando’s to take action. Some said Steenhuisen was ‘smirking’ on the sidelines, that Cliff was the “epitome of white arrogance” with Steenhuisen as his “cheerleader” and that Nando’s was “too chicken to talk about racism in South Africa”.
In its statement late on Friday, the fast food chicken restaurant said:
“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 or condone racism in any form. We are taking this serious matter under review.”
Several Twitter users came to Cliff’s and Nando’s defence, saying he was making a point that poverty was the most serious issue right now, and that Burning Platform is called that for precisely this reason and that “Nando’s duty is to create a platform where people are uncensored”.
So @jsteenhuisen – any thoughts on sitting by while Gareth Cliff bullied a black woman and told her her lived experience counted for nothing in the country while you were chanting "service delivery" for some reason? That was an opportunity to interrupt and you failed miserably!
— brett "Fish" anderson (@BrettFishA) October 22, 2021
Is @NandosSA too chicken to talk about racism in South Africa?
What a Pita.
To build an equal society (where anyone has an equal chance to rent a nice place for example!) we need less “not racism” and more ANTI-racism. pic.twitter.com/L0riRYHMEs
— Mark Rountree (@mark__rountree) October 22, 2021
WATCH the full Gareth Cliff interview and debate here:
Current Affairs show Carte Blanche is currently on a roadshow, visiting municipalities across South Africa in the lead up to the local elections on Monday 1 November. On Sunday, the show visits Limpopo and the Kruger National Park area. Watch the show overseas on Showmax International | Watch in SA on DStv Now