LOUDMOUTH 5FM DJ Gareth Cliff has been gagged from making any comments about Manto Tshabalala-Msimang's death on air after his Twitter remarks sparked widespread outrage, writes Candice Bailey in the Saturday Star.
The shock jock received a stern warning from the public broadcaster yesterday not to try anything on air.
SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago told the Saturday Star he had had a meeting with Cliff and told him they did not support his comments.
"He (Cliff) said he had not said anything on air and was not planning to do so. He gave us a clear commitment he would not," said Kganyago.
The furore began on Wednesday when Cliff responded on social networking site Twitter to Tshabalala-Msimang's death from complications relating to her 2007 liver transplant.
His first tweet: "Manto is dead. Good. A selfish and wicked bungler of the lowest order. Rotten and rancid liver – three of them…"
Many Twitter followers, bloggers and Facebookers called for him to be fired. The ANC Youth League and several politicians also added their voices.
But that didn't stop Cliff.
He posted: "Relieved about Manto. I was worried she'd finish all our phuza before 2010," as well as "getting a lot of heat about my Manto comment earlier: It's what I said while she was alive, and I'm not going to lie just because she's dead."
Later posts included: "Why do people think the dead deserve respect? They're dead… Even the law is unequivocal: dead people have no rights," as well as "That woman – Manto – and her policies on Aids sent many thousands of people to their graves early. She added no value to SA."
Yesterday Kganyago said Cliff was a freelancer and did not work only for the SABC.
"He has his own show on MNet. Why should the SABC be the only one to answer?" he asked. "It was not done on air. People should be outraged at Twitter. He did it in his personal capacity in a public forum, away from the SABC."
Click here to read the full report, posted on iol.co.za.