In an exclusive interview with The Citizen on April 1, Cliff said he has humbly accepted the offer as the prime-time radio struggle veteran needs “a challenge to tame political beasts far greater than wooing a middle-class audience”.
ANC bigwig Kgalema Motlanthe, who was previously given the nod to take command of the school, has been side-lined as ANC President Jacob Zuma believes the right man for the job is Cliff.
Along with the incumbent knowledge that Cliff brings to the political school, he is also bringing members of his former 5FM team into the fold. They will head up certain departments of the school.
Former 5FM news anchor Leigh-Ann Mol will coach ANC MPs on the use of power suits in her role as personal stylist.
“To be a politician you must dress the part. With years of experience behind the microphone, I can honestly say I have no idea of what the right is thing to wear. This is why I will do a good job of dressing politicians who think they know what political fashion is,” said Mol.
Cliff has set into motion another move at the ANC’s political school as former executive producer Thabo Modisane will head up the ‘what not to say as a politician’ department.
Cliff believes Modisane is more than qualified for the job as he has spent nearly a decade trying to keep Cliff himself in line.
“It has been a nightmare trying to get Gareth to not say certain things, luckily now I can shift my focus to young political minds who have hopefully not listened to some of Gareth’s rants and raves. This alone will make the job easier,” said Modisane.
Cliff said he believes the move will see the ANC flourish going forward: “My only wish is that this move was made sooner, so I could have tamed the likes of Julius Malema and others.
“Nonetheless this is an exciting move and one that will most definitely play towards my strengths – keep in mind I am an Idols judge, so I know talent,” said Cliff.
Political analyst Jim Notsofunni said on April 1 – that is today, the 1st of April – the move will lead to a revolution in the way politicians approach the public.
He added: “However, this sounds fairly unbelievable. Almost as if it was made up or something.”