Ashwin Willemse hopes the SAHRC case will prove racism behind his TV walkout

Cape Town – Springbok wing Ashwin Willemse has remained firm in his position that his controversial lTV walkout earlier this year was brought about by racism.

In May, Willemse stunned the rugby world and the nation when he walked off a live SuperSport set, accusing fellow analysts Nick Mallett and Naas Botha of “patronising” and “undermining” him.

In an interview with eNCA, a snippet of video was released, he said, “I fundamentally believe that this issue was rooted in racism. And I would like this to be dealt with at an appropriate forum, or appropriate manner,”

Willemse added that he was confident that the commission will rule on his favour.

“I’m very confident in the Human Rights Commission… it’s an institution that is wholly responsible for the custodianship of human rights and human rights-related violations and issues… the promotion thereof within South Africa and the democratic dispensation of South Africa…”

He added: “My confidence stems not from necessarily my position or the situation but it stems from the foundation of our liberation as a democratic, non-sexist, non-racist society equal in opportunities for all South Africans… our constitution is regarded as one of the best constitutions in the world.”

SuperSport replied via email to Sport24 and said, “SuperSport has cooperated fully with the SA Human Rights Commission since the broadcaster referred the Ashwin Willemse matter to the Commission.

“This followed the completion of an independent investigation instituted by SuperSport and conducted by Advocate Vincent Maleka SC into the circumstances surrounding the former presenter walking off the set of a live broadcast.

“Adv Maleka SC found that the walk-off was not the result of racism. He recommended that the matter be referred to the Commission.

“SuperSport will participate fully in the enquiry to be conducted by the Commission and maintains its firm view that racism did not play a role in this matter.”

Photo credit- The Athlete

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