Cliff v Electronic Media Network (Pty) Ltd (1368/2016) [2016] ZAGPJHC 2 ; [2016] JOL 35104 (HC) (29 January 2016) per CH Nicholls J.

Pending the final outcome of further relief claimed by Gareth Cliff, the High Court restored the contractual relationship that existed between the parties on 6 January 2016.  The cause of action seems to have been based on a failure to follow ‘due process’.  But there has to be some doubt about such a right at common law.  It was not suggested that labour law applied to the relationship of being a judge in a talent contest.

[23] The facts in this matter are indicative of a contractual agreement between the parties having been reached.  Although no agreement had yet been signed, both parties conducted themselves as though Cliffs position as an Idols judge was a foregone conclusion.  Even if the respondents’ version were to cast some doubt on the applicant’s assertion of an existing contractual relationship, for the purposes of interim relief, a prima facie right, albeit open to some doubt, is sufficient.  In my view the existence of a ‘Judges Agreement’ between Cliff and M-Net has been prima facie established.  It is not contended that this agreement was cancelled in any manner whatsoever, either with or without written notice.  In conclusion I am satisfied that Cliff has shown a prima facie right that he had a contract with M-Net which was terminated without due process.