- Minister of sports and recreation Thokozile Xasa declined to comment on SuperSport’s findings about the Ashwin Willemse matter
- An independent review headed by Advocate Vincent Maleka found no suggestion of racism on the part of Nick Mallet and Naas Botha
- Xasa’s spokesperson said the minister would study the report in detail before making any comment or public statement on the matter
Minister of sports and recreation Thokozile Xasa has remained silent on the findings of an independent report into the infamous incident between Ashwin Willemse, Naas Botha and Nick Mallet.
An independent review inquiry headed by Advocate Vincent Maleka was established by SuperSport and its parent company MultiChoice to investigate the matter. On Monday Maleka released his findings into the incident which found ‘no suggestion of racism on the part of either Botha or Mallet.
Xasa was vocal in her support for Willemse after the incident occurred and a day after the incident in which Willemse stormed off set, she called on SuperSport to suspend Botha and Mallet.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Xasa was highly critical of both presenters and said it pointed to a deep-seated believe among some white people that the colour of their skin made them better than people of colour.
Sport24.com reported that Xasa said if Mallet and Botha were allowed to continue to appear on-air it would be seen by many as an endorsement of their racist behaviour.
Xasa also slammed critics of sports quotas and said if it was not for the barbaric implementation of apartheid there would have been no need for a quota system in South Africa.
On Tuesday, Xasa’s spokesperson said the minister could not comment on the matter because she had not yet had the opportunity to read through it.
He said Xasa would study the report in detail before commenting or making any statements about its findings.
SuperSport CEO Gideon Khobane revealed that Willemse chose not to take part in the inquiry. He said he hoped to meet with Willemse in the near future to discuss how best to move forward.
Khobane said Botha and Mallet would return to their usual on-air duties in the near future. He said SuperSport would stand by the findings of the report.
Willemse still has a contract with SuperSport, but it is unlikely that he will work with either Mallet or Botha in the future.
IOL.co.za reported that Willemse refused to take part in the inquiry because he felt that it was an attempt by the broadcaster to cover-up a racist incident.
Willemse said the narrative by SuperSport which claims there was no racism infringed on his human rights and dignity.
Meanwhile, the report revealed that there was a definite class of personalities between Mallet and Willemse. The duo would often clash about differing opinions and had on various occasions requested not to be rostered to work together.
Mallet even revealed in his testimony that the duo ‘irritated the hell out of each other’.
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