... M-Net says it can't and won't delay the upcoming start of the 12th season's auditions and that M-Net is seeking the immediate dismissal of his urgent court application with costs.
Gareth Cliff is suing M-Net for R25 million and wants his job back on the reality singing show.
ALSO READ: M-Net's answering affidavit in fired Gareth Cliff case reveals several surprising 'secrets' - like a 2016 Idols Theatre Week set at the Wild Coast and not Sun City.
M-Net is slamming Gareth Cliff in its affidavit, revealing that M-Net told Gareth Cliff that he can say that he decided to step away from Idols, thereby preserving his, M-Net and Idols' dignity and image.
Gareth Cliff declined. Then M-Net issued its own statement.
"In the interest of preserving an amicable relationship with him, he was offered the opportunity to issue a joint statement with M-Net in order to voluntarily step down from the show, which he declined," says M-Net.
M-Net says it can't and won't delay the start of Idols since it will have "far-reaching financial and reputational consequences for M-Net and [SIC] Entertainment should the 2016 auditions be stopped".
"Venues and crew have already been booked," says M-Net and the Randburg based pay-TV broadcaster says " all freelance contractors and crew members would lose out on their income".
"Any changes to the filming schedule would also have a detrimental impact on the Idols contestants themselves, many of whom are students, who have already made arrangements to participate in the scheduled auditions".
M-Net is hitting back at Gareth Cliff as hard as his statements and court application did the past week, with M-Net now saying the only damage to Gareth Cliff's reputation was the damage he did himself.
"Any harm done to Gareth Cliff's reputation is a direct result of his own actions and not as a result of M-Net's decision to exclude him from the Idols judging panel".
"Gareth Cliff chose to enter the fray in the midst of an acrimonious public discussion about race relations and made statements which he admits were highly insensitive and ill-advised," says M-Net.
M-Net says it got rid of Gareth Cliff because as a commercial TV broadcaster "M-Net did not wish to participate in fueling further racially based divisions in the country".