TV star about his disapointment in South African politics
(Autor/ Editor: Martin Hiebsch)
Gareth Cliff ist in gewisser Weise das südafrikanische Gegenstück von Dieter Bohlen. Er ist im TV-Business aktiv, sitzt als Juror bei der Fernsehshow „Idols“ (= DSDS) und äußert sich gerne provokativ und ziemlich hart. Einen Unterschied gibt es jedoch – Gareth Cliff kritisiert auch die Politik des Landes, die ANC-Elite um Präsident Jacob Zuma. Die Eigenbereicherungen, die fehlende Motivation der Politiker die Probleme Südafrikas wie HIV/ AIDS, Korruption, Arbeitslosigkeit, Kriminalität oder Armut anzugehen, sind ihm ein gewaltiger Dorn im Auge, sodass er einen offenen Brief an die Regierung verfasst hat. „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ konnte mit Gareth Cliff dessen Brief sowie seine Wahrnehmung von Deutschland erörtern.
2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Hello Gareth Cliff and welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“! Your “letter to the government” kicked off a wave of reactions and was read thousands of times. While you were quite popular in South Africa before, but now you have become famous in many other countries too. Did you expect this result?
Answer: No, I simply put into writing what I am sure many South Africans feel. The government needed to be told some cold, hard truths.
2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In your letter you talk about very well-known problems in your country such as the bad education policy, corruption, unemployment and poverty. Like many others, you criticize the government for doing more for themselves than for the people. Why do you think the reputation of the current government is so bad? And why do people have the feeling that their elected representatives can not solve the problems of South Africa?
Answer: There seems to be a bout of kleptomania going on in government, and I blame the ANC’s policy of deployment – where the party deploys loyal cadres to powerful and important positions without consideration to the job that needs doing, the qualifications of the person being deployed, or the urgency of the task. Too many of those people then occupy the position with a sense of entitlement and pillage the office of any value.
2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Do you think that another government could solve problems like unemployment or the HIV-epidemic? In your opinion, what has to change within the South African society to approach those problems?
Answer: I think most governments try to address societal problems, even ones that are not of their doing. I’m not interested in ANOTHER government. This is the one we have got, and we deserve more from them. Having said that, civil society isn’t playing enough of a role. South Africans are apathetic and expect government to solve all their problems for them. We need to meet them halfway.
2010sdafrika-editorial staff: People express their resentment in strikes and protests. Do you think that the situation could escalate sometime in future? If not, what is your picture of the country in, lets say, 10 years?
Answer: Yes, I imagine that if these problems are not urgently addressed, people will become violent, rebellious and ungovernable. New leaders will emerge and threaten national stability and the government of the day. All the more reason to take these issues very seriously indeed.
2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Lets leave South Africa and get on to the topic of Germany. Name three things, you think of, when you hear the word Germany!
Answer: Friedrich der Große; Wagner, beer.
2010sdafrika-editorial staff: As a South African, you are probably not a soccer fan. Soccer is huge in Germany! Did you follow the performance of the German Team during the World Cup 2010?
Answer: I’m a huge soccer fan. I have been watching the World Cup since 1990 and have not missed a single game. I think Germany were fantastic and most unlucky to lose to Spain when they did.
2010sdafrika-editorial staff: The audience of your breakfast show is growing fast and you are getting more and more popular. Are people recognizing you on the street and do you like to get recognized?
Answer: Ha ha ha. Yes, but having been on TV for ten years means I’m not shocked or surprised anymore.
2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You got famous through a radio program. Do you want to stay at your broadcaster 5FM or could you imagine switching to a TV channel?
Answer: Well I think one can do both.
2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Gareth Cliff, entertainer and presenter, thank you very much for this interview!
Website of Gareth Cliff: