Naas back on SuperSport this Saturday
Naas Botha will be back in his position as rugby analyst for the first time since the Ashwin Willemse incident of 19 May.
SuperSport confirmed on Thursday that Botha, Gcobani Bobo, Breyton Paulse and Robbie Kempson will be the analysts of the Super Rugby match between the Bulls and the Jaguars (15:05) and the Stormers and Sharks (17:15).
Xola Ntshinga will act as the presenter.
However, it is still unclear when Nick Mallett and Willemse will be back in the box and if they will ever act as analysts again.
Willemse left a SuperSport studio in Randburg, Johannesburg on May 19, in a live broadcast after accusing Botha and Mallett of repulsive behaviour. He also referred to them as players of the apartheid era. This incident has unleashed a racial war and none of these three have since been seen in the box.
Although Willemse’s future plans are still unclear, he tweeted for the first time since May 19 last Thursday.
However, Willemse’s Tweet did not deal with the outing incident. He announced that he has obtained a master’s degree in Entrepreneurship Management and the creation of new business opportunities at the University of the Witwatersrand. He passed this degree with distinction.
After the retirement incident, SuperSport approached independent lawyer Vincent Maleka, to investigate the matter and draw up a report. Maleka could not find any signs of racism toward Botha or Mallett in his report. Willemse did not participate in this investigation and was not satisfied with Maleka’s findings. Willemse’s lawyer, Nqobizitha Mlilo, says racism played a role. Mlilo said they would bring the case before the Equality Court. The Human Rights Commission is also going to look into the Willemse case. SuperSport did not want to comment on this matter on Thursday.
“It’s the company’s policy not to publicly discuss SuperSport’s legal affairs,” said SuperSport spokesperson Clinton van der Berg. Following the Willem incident, four SuperSport employees, Ntshinga, Bobo, Owen Nkumane and Kaunda Ntunja, sent a lawyer letter to their employee in which they charged the broadcaster of racism, victimization, income inequality and intimidation. The Sunday Times reported earlier that the four also stated in the letter that specific roles of analysts “are reserved for non-profit experts”. Of their other grievances, white workers apparently were paid more, while black providers were expected to do more work. Bobo, Nkumane, Ntshinga and Ntunja had to believe that they also believed “public humiliation, insulting language and other unwelcome treatment”.
After an internal investigation, this issue was also finalized by SuperSport. MVMT Attorneys, who directed the letter on behalf of the four analysts to SuperSport, did not want to comment earlier this week about how these grievances were resolved. Willemse did not rule on inquiries on Thursday.