International Rugby, Opinions

Willemse, Mallett & Botha speak – via SuperSport Media statement

Ashwin Willemse attributed his studio walkout on live TV to issues, the complexity of which he said were ‘profound’. Nick Mallett said there were clearly issues that had to be grappled with and Naas Botha committed to resolving the issues.

All three were quoted in a SuperSport statement, following Multichoice South Africa’s CEO Calvo Mawela telling the media he was convinced the issues between Willemse and Mallett and Botha were not racially related.

Following the social media storm post Willemse’s Supersport studio exit on Saturday, a meeting was held on Monday between the three analysts and Multichoice South Africa’s CEO Calvo Mawela, who has declared that “there is no racism that we picked up from any of the discussions that we have had”.

Willemse walked off set during a live broadcast on Saturday night following the Lions win over the Brumbies, where he said he was “not going to be patronised by two individuals who played in apartheid”, referring to Mallett and Botha, who were Springboks in the 1980s. (

Whilst the investigation carries on, Mawela has stated that “no animosity exists between them” and that they “were courteous to each other, shook hands and chatted openly”.

IOL reported the following statement from Malewa

“But we have not come to any conclusions at this stage. We all agreed that we will continue the engagements going forward. We can’t say when it will be concluded.

“From the observation of today’s discussions, there is no racism that we picked up from any of the discussions that we have had. As far as we are concerned, it’s people who got into some discussions of some sort, and we are still digging deeper to find out what really happened and led to this type of action, because nobody walks off stage just for the sake of walking off stage.

“There must be something deeper, and we are engaging with all parties to get to the bottom of this.”

Read more at and Sport24

Willemse, Mallett and Botha were quoted in a SuperSport statement, as follows:

Willemse: “We had robust discussions in which I aired my views. I’m very appreciative of the process undertaken by SuperSport. The complexity of the issues are very profound.”

Mallett: “I appreciated the opportunity to air my views. Clearly there are issues that must be grappled with. I am more than happy to collaborate and contribute to resolving this matter.”

Botha: “This was a first meeting and we all had our say, which was helpful. We’ve invested in a process to resolve matters and I’m confident that we will get a satisfactory resolution.”

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