NEWS
25/05/2018 13:19 SAST | Updated 25/05/2018 13:37 SAST

Nick, Naas And Ashwin Pulled Off Air By SuperSport

"None of the presenters [has] been suspended, and they will continue to be remunerated in terms of their contracts."

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SuperSport has decided to pull rugby commentators Naas Botha, Nick Mallett and Ashwin Willemse off the air, the company said in a statement on Friday.

"Despite good progress initially, the matter has unfortunately not been resolved. We have therefore decided to instruct an independent senior counsel, advocate Vincent Maleka SC, to chair a review of the incident ... and to make recommendations to our management," read the statement.

On Saturday, Willemse took issue with fellow presenters Mallett and Botha on air, saying he would not be "patronised by two individuals who played in the apartheid/segregated era".

He subsequently walked off set. According to Sport24, he objected to references to "quota players". Later claims referred to supposed long-running friction between Willemse and Mallett in particular, although other sources claim a technical glitch sparked a misunderstanding that led to the outburst.

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According to SuperSport, "[we] have had discussions this week with all parties in an effort to resolve this matter amicably and expeditiously".

"Pending the outcome of the review, the three presenters involved will not appear on-air. None of the presenters [has] been suspended, and they will continue to be remunerated in terms of their contracts.

"We are committed to getting to the bottom of this serious issue. Advocate Maleka SC has been asked to make findings and recommendations by Monday 11 June 2018," read the statement.

PLUS: The Ashwin Willemse Saga: Are Black People Accepted, Or Merely Tolerated?