SuperSport to hold talks with Mallett, Naas
Cape Town - Pay-channel SuperSport will on Monday hold discussions with pundits Nick Mallett and Naas Botha.
This follows the drama that occurred on Saturday night when fellow analyst Ashwin Willemse walked off a live broadcast following an apparent disagreement with Mallett and Botha.
Willemse spoke of being labelled a "quota player" and refused to be "patronised by two individuals who played in an apartheid/segregated era".
Willemse went on to say he "can't work with people who undermine other people" and that he was "glad it happened on live TV so that people can see".
Clinton van der Berg, SuperSport’s spokesperson, told Netwerk24 that they held “preliminary talks” with Willemse on Sunday and will hold talks with Mallett and Botha on Monday regarding the incident.
SuperSport on Monday said they would continue meeting with all parties involved.
"A preliminary investigation is underway and will include senior management meeting with all the presenters (Ashwin Willemse, Nick Mallett, Naas Botha and Motshidisi Mohono) and the production staff in Johannesburg today," SuperSport said via an e-mailed statement.
"Prejudice of any sort will not be tolerated by SuperSport. SuperSport will keep the public and media informed of the investigation."
While SuperSport remains mum on the in-studio event, Sunday newspaper Rapport claimed that Mallett, while off-air, had asked the television producer to give Willemse an opportunity to speak first following the Lions’ 42-24 win over the Brumbies in Johannesburg.
Mallett requested this as Willemse did not get a chance to speak following the earlier match between the Sharks and Chiefs in Durban.
The report further claimed Willemse interpreted this request as patronising - which led to his outburst.
SA Rugby, meanwhile, also responded on the matter on Monday.
"We were as surprised and concerned as the rest of the rugby community by Saturday evening’s incident on SuperSport," an SA Rugby spokesperson said.
“It would not be fair to make snap judgements. However, something was clearly amiss and it reflected poorly on rugby. This is a SuperSport matter and we have asked to be kept informed on the process of the investigation.”
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