Cosatu to boycott SuperSport over Willemse saga

    2018-06-22 10:53

    Cape Town - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Thursday said its leaders will be boycotting pay-station SuperSport in light of the Ashwin Willemse saga.

    Willemse famously walked off a live broadcast on May 19 this year, upset at the fact he believed his fellow analysts - Nick Mallett and Naas Botha - "patronised" him.

    The incident stunned the sporting community not only in South Africa, but around the world.

    SuperSport was quick to confirm that an independent review into the incident would take place under the expert guidance of Advocate Vincent Maleka SC.

    However, Willemse refused to partake in the review, believing it was not the right forum to express his viewpoint.

    After a week's delay in announcing his findings, Maleka found no racism had been directed at Willemse by Mallett or Botha, and expressed regret that Willemse refrained from taking part in the investigation.

    In a letter following the release of the findings, Willemse’s attorneys maintained “that the May 19 incident was rooted in racism”.

    Willemse’s attorneys made it clear that “he persists with his view that racism was the cause of the incident and the narrative perpetuated by SuperSport that there was no racism reinforces his view and infringed his human rights and dignity”.

    Willemse's legal team on Thursday confirmed that they would be taking SuperSport to South Africa's Equality Court.

    In a press statement on Thursday Cosatu weighed into the issue, saying:

    The report by SuperSport on the Ashwin Willemse issue is a whitewash to cover up the racism still operating in the old white company. Cosatu rejects the report on the basis that it did not consider the letter from Willemse's attorneys carefully enough; neither did it adequately consider the letter from Mallett to Scott Seward. This letter reveals the 'baas-skap' (boss mentality) mentality of Mallett and how he is led to believe that he can decide which black presenters he works with.

    Mallett is a racist who has displayed his attitude in many subtle ways, and this support from SuperSport to him is unacceptable. Mallett and Naas should not be allowed back into SuperSport; otherwise Cosatu will consider a full scale boycott of SuperSport. Mallett's 'baas-skap' mentality leads him to have difficulty when a black presenter questions his attempts to use his position to try and talk white players into the Springbok team.

    The statement went on to state that there were many other problems with SuperSport and DSTV.

    - DSTV has a monopoly that must be ended by the Competition Commission, as it is an old apartheid company controlled by the Stellenbosch mafia.

    - SuperSport has worked with SARU to sell the rights to our national sport and deny South Africans access to the international Test series live on SABC.

    - SuperSport has allowed the prevalence of whites in the studio to be completely removed from any employment equity provisions.

    The statement concluded by saying that Cosatu's Western Cape regional secretary, Tony Ehrenreich, will personally be ending his DSTV subscription for this "outrageous conduct by DSTV" and the "subtle racism promoted by DSTV and SuperSport".

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    Breaking News


    Saturday, 29 June 2019
    • Jaguares v Brumbies, Estadio Jose Amalfitani 01:05
    • Crusaders v Hurricanes, Orangetheory Stadium 09:35
    Saturday, 06 July 2019
    • TBC v TBC, TBC 14:00


    22 June 2019
    21 June 2019
    15 June 2019
    14 June 2019
    08 June 2019
    07 June 2019
    01 June 2019
    31 May 2019
    25 May 2019
    24 May 2019
    18 May 2019
    17 May 2019
    12 May 2019
    11 May 2019
    10 May 2019
    04 May 2019
    03 May 2019
    27 April 2019
    26 April 2019
    20 April 2019
    19 April 2019
    13 April 2019
    12 April 2019
    06 April 2019
    05 April 2019
    30 March 2019
    29 March 2019
    24 March 2019
    23 March 2019
    22 March 2019
    16 March 2019
    15 March 2019
    09 March 2019
    08 March 2019
    02 March 2019
    01 March 2019
    23 February 2019
    22 February 2019
    16 February 2019
    15 February 2019


    Rank Team P W Pts
    • Jaguares (Q)
    • Bulls (wc)
    • Sharks (wc)
    • Lions
    • Stormers

    Opinion Poll

    The winners of this weekend's Super Rugby semi-finals will be ...

    Can you name the top Super Rugby tryscorers of all-time?

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.