Willemse stands by his racism claims
Former South African wing Ashwin Willemse, who stormed off a live TV show alleging he was a victim of racism from fellow pundits, said he was taking his complaint to the country’s human rights commission.
The black former international player spoke out for the first time since the spat in March when he walked out of a post-match discussion with two white ex-Springboks, Nick Mallett and Naas Botha, who were also game analysts.
“I will be allowed to engage at that appropriate forum and hopefully in that process restore my dignity,” Willemse told 702 talk radio, referring the human rights commission, a statutory body set up after the end of apartheid.
“Let them tell us whether or not Ashwin you are legitimate in the pain which you are feeling or not,” he said.
An inquiry by the SuperSport channel found that Botha and Mallett’s conduct in an off-air conversation and in the live broadcast was not racist, but Willemse remained adamant about his claim.
“I was clear to them [SuperSport] that I believed this incident was rooted in racism,” he said.
When he walked out of the studio, Willemse said he refused to be patronised by two men who played for their country in the apartheid era.
Botha and Mallet were not used while the investigation was ongoing.
Botha made his first appearance since the incident last week, while Mallett is scheduled to return this week.
- Listen to the Ashwin Willemse interview: