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SAHRC to broaden Ashwin Willemse, SuperSport racism case

In 2018, Ashwin Willemse walked out of a live broadcast alleging that Naas Botha and Nick Mallett had patronised and discriminated against him.

FILE: Former Springbok wing and SuperSport analyst Ashwin Willemse talks to Eusebius McKaiser in the 702 studio. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has announced that it will broaden the scope of the alleged racism and discrimination case against sports pay channel SuperSport in the Ashwin Willemse matter.

In 2018, Willemse walked out of a live broadcast alleging that fellow analysts Naas Botha and Nick Mallett had patronised and discriminated against him.

In December 2018, SAHRC announced that it would investigate the circumstances that led to Willemse walking off a set during a live SuperSport broadcast in May.

The incident, involving Mallett and Botha, took place after a Super Rugby match between the Lions and Brumbies, with Willemse accusing the duo of undermining him.

SuperSport’s independent investigation was conducted by Advocate Vincent Maleka, who found that there was no “naked or subtle racism” on the part of Mallett or Botha.

However, Maleka recommended that SuperSport refer Willemse’s allegations to the SAHRC for final resolution, which Willemse said at the time he was planning to do.

The SAHRC is encouraging SuperSport employees, both past and present, and any other parties to make written submissions of any racism or discrimination they may have experienced with their dealings with the broadcaster.

Written submissions must be made by 31 May before the investigation gets underway.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)