Wednesday, December 12, 2018

SuperSport to cooperate with the SA Human Rights Commission's inquiry into alleged racism at the sports broadcaster prompted by the Ashwin Willemse walk-off incident.

SuperSport will cooperate with the South African Human Right's Commission's (SAHRC) upcoming inquiry into alleged racism at the sports broadcaster.

The SAHRC will start an inquiry in February 2019 that is projected to last 5 months until June.

It's prompted by the hugely damaging and infamous Ashwin Willemse walk-out incident on live television on DStv in May 2018 that caused great public uproar when the former SuperSport commentator got up and left the SuperSport studio set after visibly getting upset with Nick Mallett and Naas Botha.

SuperSport and MultiChoice's internal investigation, an inquiry led by Advocate Vincent Maleka found no racism, but Ashwin Willemse wasn't interviewed and decided not to participate in the inquiry.

Ashwin Willemse also said through his legal representation that the incident was sparked by perceived racism.

Ashwin Willemse said he would pursue the matter through other avenues and Advocate Vincent Maleka also recommended that the case be referred to the South African Human Right's Commission.

While Nick Mallett and Naas Botha stayed on at SuperSport, the contract of Ashwin Willemse at SuperSport ran out and wasn't renewed.

"SuperSport has cooperated fully with the SA Human Rights Commission since the broadcaster referred the Ashwin Willemse matter to the Commission," says Joe Heshu, MultiChoice's corporate affairs spokesperson says in a statement.

"This followed the completion of an independent investigation instituted by SuperSport and conducted by Advocate Vincent Maleka SC into the circumstances surrounding the former presenter walking off the set of a live broadcast."

"Advocate Vincent Maleka SC found that the walk-off was not the result of racism. He recommended that the matter be referred to the Commission. SuperSport will participate fully in the enquiry to be conducted by the Commission and maintains its firm view that racism did not play a role in this matter."