Racist incident at SuperSport condemned

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sports Minister Tokokize Xasa has called upon all South Africans to continue to use sport to unite the nation.

However, racist elements must be exposed and isolated, the minister said on Sunday.

The minister was reacting to alleged racist behaviour against rugby analyst and former Springbok player Ashwin Willemse.

In the video that has gone viral on social media, Willemse is seen walking off set following apparent comments made by fellow presenters, Nick Mallet a former Springbok player and coach and Naas Botha, a former South African rugby union player who played during the era of apartheid.

Willemse incites that they labelled him a quota player throughout his rugby career.

The incident happened following the Lions’ 42-24 win over Brumbies at Ellis Park Johannesburg. It follows another racial incident where a K-word was used in an under 21 match between Roodepoort rugby club and Wanderers.

In a strongly worded statement, Xasa condemned what she called a continued behaviour of white entitlement in the sport of rugby.

“This behaviour of entitlement by some white South Africans who continue to think that their whiteness represents better must come to an end. If it was not for a barbaric nonsensical apartheid system that privileged them we could not have implemented quota system to normalize an otherwise abnormal system.”

The minister insisted that Willemse is not just a former Springbok player, but in 2003 he was named SA Rugby Player of the Year, young player of the year and the players’ player of the year.

“Players like Willemse, Habana, Kolisi continue to make us proud as a nation and affirm that they are not token players or quota players,” Xasa said.

The Department of Sport, through its transformation charter that was adopted in 2011, noted that the quota system has been largely unsuccessful in bringing about an effectively transformation in sports. This has caused a substantial consequential damage for many black players who were labelled as ‘Tokens’, and referred to as mere replacement of white face with a black face.

“It is clear that Ashwin Willemse was referred as a quota player by his fellow panellists despite his many successes in the field of play. I call upon SuperSport to suspend the two panellists while they are busy with full investigation.”

The minister added that the continued appearance of Mallet and Botha will be seen as an endorsement of their alleged racist behaviour.-SAnews.gov.za