The 36-year-old Willemse‚ who represented the Springboks in 19 Test matches between 2003 and 2007‚ walked out of the SuperSport studios in Randburg on May 19 after the Lions vs Brumbies Super Rugby game that took place at Ellis Park.
Ashwin Willemse was reluctant to offer his side of the story on Tuesday afternoon after Advocate Vincent Maleka concluded his investigation into the events that led to the former Springbok winger’s sensational walkout during a live broadcast at the SuperSport studios on May 19.
Former Springbok players Nick Mallett and Naas Botha were the panellists when Willemse walked out. Willemse spoke of being labelled a “quota player” and refused to be “patronised by two individuals who played in an apartheid/segregated era”.
The 2007 Rugby World Cup winner went on to say he “can’t work with people who undermine other people” and that he was “glad it happened on live TV so that people can see”.
SuperSport chief executive officer Gideon Khobane said the report found that Mallett and Botha were not racist and they did not exhibit any unintended or subtle racism.
But Khobane conceded that Maleka said the report was poorer without Willemse’s inputs. When contacted by TimesLIVE on Tuesday afternoon‚ Willemse declined to comment.
“I can’t speak now and I do not have any comment at this point‚” Willemse said. Khobane revealed that Willemse still has a contract with the pay channel and this perhaps explains the former Boks’ reluctance to comment.
“Ashwin has a contract with SuperSport‚” said Khobane. “It hasn’t been terminated and neither has he terminated his contract. “Based on our next engagement with him‚ that will determine where we go.
“I think everybody here understands my stance and what we would like to see happen‚ but Willemse’s contract is still standing and binding. “In the spirit of reconciliation‚ I will make another attempt to reach out to Ashwin for us to find a mutually acceptable way forward so that he knows this matter has been fairly investigated.”
Source: Times Live