By Kaya 959 Reporter
DA leader John Steenhuisen has hit back at critics questioning his ‘smirk’ on Gareth Cliff’s ‘The Burning Platform’.
This comes after a conversation linked to racism spiralled on the show on Friday.
Steenhuisen says he finds it odd that people are policing his facial expression.
“It is like blaming a passenger in a taxi because the driver of the taxi jumped a stop street and had an accident with somebody,” he told 702.
He says he was a guest and did not negate anybody’s lived experiences.
Cliff interviewed Steenhuisen and well-known social activist Mudzuli Rakhivhane on Friday. The DA’s controversial posters erected in Phoenix were brought up during the discussion.
Rakhivhane touched briefly on her experiences as a black woman in South Africa. Cliff interrupted her, saying that her “personal experience is completely anecdotal and unimportant to all of us.”
Rakhivhane responded, saying that there were people who don’t experience racism at the level she did on a daily basis.
Backing up his earlier stance, Cliff said the Institute for Race Relations found that racism was “at the bottom of their list of priorities”.
He added that he is not interested in identity politics.
Nando’s drops sponsorship
The clip of the interview has been seen and shared thousands of times on social media.
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
The show’s sponsor, Nando’s, has since pulled its sponsorship.
“Nando’s is of the view that Gareth Cliff failed to create an environment where free speech was possible by talking over Mudzuli Rakhivhane and dismissing her view whilst not allowing her to adequately express it,” the food giant said in a statement.
The statement adds: “This is highly disappointing to Nando’s and at odds with the reasons that we originally entered into our sponsorship of The Burning Platform more than five years ago. As a result of Gareth’s actions on 21st October 2021, we have also made the decision to terminate our sponsorship of The Burning Platform with immediate effect.”
— NandosSA (@NandosSA) October 23, 2021