CAPE TOWN – Parliament’s sports portfolio committee chairperson Beauty Dlulane has cautioned the public to be “circumspect” in commenting on the Ashwin Willemse matter, adding that the committee condemns racism in sport “in all its manifestations”.
Willemse told fellow SuperSport rugby analysts Nick Mallett and Naas Botha that he was “not going to be patronised by two individuals who played in apartheid”, whereafter he walked off the set on Saturday night after the Super Rugby match between the Lions and the Brumbies.
SuperSport said earlier on Monday that they are investigating the matter, and would hold discussions with the three men and presenter Motshidisi Mohono and the production staff, adding that “prejudice of any sort would not be tolerated”.
Dlulane said that the incident was unfortunate and that she hoped that there would be a speedy resolution.
“The incident is concerning and should be addressed speedily, as it has invoked much emotion. We condemn racism in sport in all its manifestations, as it has the potential to polarise society,” Dlulane said in a statement on Monday.
“South Africans should be circumspect in commenting on this matter, and should allow the investigation to proceed and reach a conclusion. As things are, everyone is venturing an opinion about a matter on which we lack details.”
Dlulane added that if it was found that the incident “had anything to do with racial discrimination, as Mr Willemse suggested, MultiChoice should do what is necessary as per its code of conduct that regulates the behaviour of guest analysts”.