Super Rugby

SAHRC widens scope of investigation into alleged racism at SuperSport

Ashwin Willemse (Gallo)
Ashwin Willemse (Gallo)

Cape Town - Ashwin Willemse's fight against SuperSport is going full steam ahead with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) set to investigate alleged racism and discrimination at the pay channel. 

It has been nine months since former Springbok wing Willemse walked off a live broadcast during a Super Rugby match, later accusing co-analysts Nick Mallett and Naas Botha of racism. 

Following the incident, SuperSport appointed Advocate Vincent Maleka to conduct an independent review of the incident and Willemse's allegation.

In June 2018, the findings of that report were released and Maleka found that there was no "naked racism" on the part of Mallett nor Botha, adding that he did not find any subtle racism either.

In his report, Maleka recommended that SuperSport take the initiative to refer Willemse's allegations to the SAHRC for final resolution with Willemse at the time stating that he would follow that route. 

Now, that process is happening and the Commission is encouraging SuperSport employees - both past and present - and any other parties to make written submissions of any racism or discrimination they may have experienced with their dealings with the broadcaster. 

"After careful assessment of the independent report and following media reports and interviews in which SuperSport was accused of racism and victimisation, the Commission has determined that it will hold an investigative inquiry into the allegations in this matter," a statement from the Commission read on Thursday.

"The Commission has deemed it appropriate and in the public interest to broaden the scope of its investigation to probe other allegations of racial discrimination at SuperSport which fall outside the scope of Maleka SC’s independent review."

Written submissions must be made by May 31 before the investigation gets underway. 

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