Sunday, May 20, 2018

BREAKING. Sports minister Tokozile Xasa calls on SuperSport to immediately suspend rugby commentators Nick Mallett and Naas Botha after Ashwin Willemse live TV studio walk out.

South Africa's minister of sport and recreation, Tokozile Xasa, in a statement is calling for the immediate suspension of SuperSport rugby commentators Nick Mallett and Naas Botha after the eye-popping walk off incident that saw commentator Ashwin Willemse leave the Randburg studio on live television on Saturday night.

Meanwhile the political party Icosa in the Western Cape on Sunday called on a boycott of MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV service

Tokozile Xasa said "I call upon SuperSport to suspend the two panellists while they are busy with full investigation. The continued appearance of Nick Mallet and Naas Botha will be seen as an endorsement of their alleged racist behaviour".

SuperSport told TVwithThinus on Sunday in response to a media enquiry seeking comment on the minister's comments that "an investigation will take place. SuperSport cannot prejudice any possible findings with a speculative comment. SuperSport will release an updated statement on Monday".

SuperSport on Saturday night told TVwithThinus that it would be conducting an investigation and do interviews with everyone involved after an eye-popping live TV on-air incident on Saturday night that saw an upset commentator Ashwin Willemse walk off set after a verbal altercation in SuperSport's Randburg studio with commentators Nick Mallett and Naas Botha, while presenter Motshidisi Mohono kept the show going.

It's not clear yet what triggered Ashwin Willemse, but in a live SuperSport broadcast scene that quickly went viral on Saturday night after the victory of the Lions of 42-24 over the Brumbies at Ellis Park, the former Springbok wing was clearly upset at both of the two other seated commentators Nick Mallett and Naas Botha.

Tokozile Xasa in a statement says "This behaviour of entitlement by some white South Africans who continue to think that their whiteness represent better must come to an end, if it was not for a barbaric nonsensical apartheid system that privileged them we could not have implemented quota system to normalize an otherwise abnormal system".

"Ashwin Willemse is not just a former Springbok player but in 2003 he was named SA Rugby Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year and the Player’s Player of the Year. Players like Ashwin Willemse, Bryan Habana and Siya Kolisi continue to make us proud as a nation and affirm that they are not token players or quota players."

"It is clear that Ashwin Willemse was referred as a quota player by his fellow panelists despite his many successes in the field of play, I call upon SuperSport to suspend the two panelists while they are busy with full investigation. The continued appearance of Nick Mallet and Naas Botha will be seen as an endorsement of their alleged racist behaviour," said Tokozile Xasa.

Meanwhile The Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa (Icosa), a political party founded by Trueman Prince, in a statement issued by Icosa spokesperson Dawid Kamfer, says Icosa "call on all non-white South Africans to cancel their DStv subscription, till SuperSport remove the likes of Nick Mallet, Naas Botha, Toks Van Der Linde and Kobus Wiese".

"We also want the removal of all presenters who represent apartheid South Africa on the rugby field. No more historical references for statistical purposes of the era before unification".

Faiez Jacobs, provincial secretary of the ANC Western Cape in a statement said on Sunday that "it is disturbed by the incident at SuperSport studios yesterday" and that "we know Ashwin as a strong man who against all odds, pulled himself by the bootstraps out of poverty and out of a written fate for many of the young people who come from his neighborhoods".

"We believe that Ashwin's public walkout is a result of what many black people experience in offices and boardrooms across the country, where being black is a constant source of being undermined, doubted, spoken down upon and largely made to feel outside various social cliques and cores within the same working environment."