The Idols judge told listeners of his show on CliffCentral this week that the president is “raping government of every cent”, by trying to get as much money as he can out of state enterprises.
Spokesperson in the presidency Bongani Ngqulunga called into Gareth Cliff’s CliffCentral radio show on Friday morning to address these claims and explain that a presidential council was being set up to co-ordinate state-owned enterprises and not run them.
Ngqulunga also revealed that he had told the president about Gareth’s comments and that the president had laughed them off.
“I told him that you had said some unkind things about him and he laughed and said ‘well, it is Gareth what do you expect?”’ Ngqulunga said to laughter around the studio.
Ngqulunga said that the president is largely unfazed by criticism levelled against him and that he understands it comes with the position of being president.
“He has a very cheerful personality and he does not take some of the attacks against him personally. He is a politician, he chose to be a politician and it comes with the position,” Ngqulunga said.
Ngqulunga’s response comes only days after Cliff took to his radio show to react to news of a Hawks’ investigation into Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Thursday. In his comments, he claimed that the president is trying to “escape with as much money as he can from state enterprises“.