LIVE

    TV walkout: Probe extended, Ashwin yet to testify

    2018-06-08 10:00

    Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

    Cape Town - Supposedly the central, aggrieved figure, Ashwin Willemse is believed to be yet to provide his version of affairs in the SuperSport studio walkout saga to the independent review.

    It may go some way to explaining why the organisation, through communications chief Clinton van der Berg, told Sport24 on Thursday that completion of the process has been pushed out by a week - now to Monday, June 18.

    It is understood that the inquiry, under the charge of advocate Vincent Maleka, has completed most - or all - of its other interviews with key figures into the much-publicised drama of almost three weeks ago.

    But at least at the time of writing, the 19-cap Springbok wing and regular pundit was believed not to have presented his testimony.

    Attempts to contact key figures in the controversy - Willemse, Nick Mallett and Naas Botha - have repeatedly been unsuccessful.

    Willemse has been cutting it fine to appear: Sport24 has learnt that he was expected to do so before the end of the working week.

    That would have made sense if the initial deadline promised by SuperSport for findings and recommendations - this Monday (June 11) - was to have been adhered to.

    None of the high-profile trio of analysts have appeared again for studio roles subsequently, although they are not suspended and remain on normal remuneration.

    That absence will apply, once again, to the keenly-awaited first Test between South Africa and England in Johannesburg on Saturday (and presumably also onward now to Bloemfontein next weekend).

    SuperSport studio duties this weekend will be performed by Jean de Villiers, Joel Stransky, Owen Nkumane, Victor Matfield, Kobus Wiese and English guests and former internationals themselves Jeremy Guscott and Stuart Barnes.   

    The inquiry was convened not long after the incident in the live rugby studio on May 19, when Springbok wing and regular pundit Willemse sensationally downed his microphone and walked out of post-match presentation on the Lions v Brumbies Super Rugby match.

    He said on air that he “tired of being patronised” by fellow-Boks Mallett and Botha, “who played during the apartheid era”. Willemse also said he had endured being called a “quota player” for his entire career.

    It has been learnt that many interviews have been conducted, right through the SuperSport pecking order, including pundits, producers and other levels of staff at the Randburg-based organisation.

    SuperSport CEO Gideon Khobane was quoted as saying, soon after the flashpoint, that they were “positive this was not a racially-motivated issue”.

    According to Sport24 information, no evidence of racially-angled conflict has been subsequently presented at the hearing.

    Willemse’s only comment for public record since his walkout was to say: “The complexity of the issue is very profound.”

    Van der Berg added on Thursday: “SuperSport cannot comment further on the matter while the process is underway; we shall only do so once Advocate Maleka lets us have his recommendations.

    “(He) has advised us that he requires a week’s extension to complete his review. We expect that his report will be ready on June 18.”

    *Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

    Read News24’s Comments Policy


    Results

    06 July 2019
    29 June 2019
    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

    Logs

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

    Opinion Poll

    Who wins Saturday's Super Rugby final?

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

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