Mantashe commends Willemse for standing up against “racism”

Ashwin Willemse
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African National Congress (ANC) National Chairperson, Gwede Mantashe, has commended former Springbok player, Ashwin Willemse for standing up against, what he terms racist behaviour.

Willemse walked off the set of SuperSport during the analysis of the match between the Lions and Brumbies.

He said that he was labelled a quota player throughout his rugby career.

Willemse told is fellow presenters Nick Mallet and Naas Botha that he would not allow the two, who played in the apartheid era, to patronise him. The panel was discussing the Lions’ 42-24 win over the Brumbies at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

Mantashe says racism should be tackled whenever it rears its ugly head.

“Racism is not just a prejudice, it’s a stereotype that was a manifestation of a sub conscious mind of racism… because here are these two commentators treating Willemse as a quota player. That is an insult because it pre-supposes that a black player has no capacity, has no capabilities, he can only play when he is done a favour. It’s an insult and it is in the conscious mind of white players and white former players and it must be fought whenever it manifests itself.”

Meanwhile, Sports and Recreation Minister Thoko Xasa expressed shock at the alleged racist behaviour by the Rugby analysts at Supersport.

In a statement, Minister Xasa condemns what she says is a “continued behaviour of white entitlement on the sport of rugby”.

The Minister goes on to say that the behaviour of entitlement by some white South Africans must come to an end.

SuperSport spokesperson Clinton Van Den Berg says the channel views the incident in a very serious light and will conduct a full investigation into the matter.

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