Cape Town – The report given by an independent inquiry of the Supersport on air debacle has given a fascinating insight into the clash of personalities between rugby pundits Nick Mallett and Ashwin Willemse after Willemse walked out during a live broadcast.
It is was reported earlier this week Willemse didn’t take part in the investigation and decided instead not to give his testimony. But Botha and Mallet did.
It is reported that on page 22 of the report mostly halfway through probe head of the probe Advocate Vincent Maleka’s 50-page report which was publicly revealed on Monday showed aspects of former Springbok head coach Mallett’s three-hour testimony to him.
Maleka wrote in the report, issued to media, “Although I did not interview Mr Willemse I was informed by both Messrs Mallett and (co-pundit and Bok flyhalf legend Naas) Botha that Mr Willemse was no pushover, and would strongly defend his views whenever he differed with theirs.
“(Mallett) references emails which he addressed to management at SuperSport, wherein he requested that he should not be rotated together with Mr Willemse for live studio broadcast.”
The report even had excerpts from an October 2016 email from Mallett, to executive producer Scott Seward, that were included, it read, “I really enjoy working with Bobs (Gcobani Bobo) and Xola (Ntshinga), Scott.
“They are a real pleasure … Xola asks very good questions and Bobs knows enough about rugby to produce interesting clips for discussion.
“Unlike with the complex Ashwin, there are no agendas.
“It would be great if Ashwin could be moved … where we don’t have to work together.
“I think he talks garbage, we irritate the hell out of each other and the working environment is just unpleasant and tense.
“I am very happy to work with Breyton (Paulse), Shimmy (Hanyani Shimange) or Bobs instead as, unlike with Ashwin, I respect their hard work and rugby opinions.”
Maleka also referred to a September 2017 correspondence from Mallett to (another manager) Malcolm Russell, “wherein he indicated how well he worked with other colleagues such as ‘X’ (Ntshinga), Jean de Villiers and Breyton Paulse.”
The advocate concluded, “There is no doubt that Mr Mallett felt uncomfortable working with Mr Willemse, and expressed his preference to work with other colleagues.
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