The SA Human Rights Commission will broaden the scope of its investigation into alleged racism and discrimination at SuperSport.
The Commission announced last December that it would investigate the circumstances that led to Ashwin Willemse walking off a set during a live SuperSport broadcast.
The incident, involving fellow rugby analysts Nick Mallett and Naas Botha, took place on 19 May after a Vodacom Super Rugby match between the Lions and Brumbies. Willemse accused the duo of undermining him.
SuperSport’s independent investigation was conducted by advocate Vincent Maleka, who found that there was no ‘naked or subtle racism’ on the part of Mallett or Botha. However, Maleka recommended that SuperSport refer Willemse’s allegations to the Commission for final resolution, which Willemse said at the time he was planning to do.
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 31 May before the investigation gets under way.