SuperSport ‘racist incident’ shocks Sports Minister

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Sports and Recreation Minister Thokozile Xasa has expressed shock at the alleged racist behaviour by rugby analysts at TV channel SuperSport.

In a statement, Xasa has condemned what she says is a continued behaviour of white entitlement in the sport of rugby.

Xasa has called for entitlement by some white South Africans to come to an end.

Former Springbok Ashwin Willemse walked off a SuperSport set following a disagreement with fellow rugby analysts Nick Mallet and Naas Botha.

The panel was discussing the Lion’s 42-22 win over the Brumbies at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

SuperSport say it views the incident in a serious light and will conduct a full investigation into the matter.

Full Statement Below:

The Minister of Sports and Recreation, Minister Toko Xasa is shocked by the alleged behavior of rugby analyst at SuperSport studios. This happened after a former springbok player Ashwin Willemse walked off set following an 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.

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

Minister Xasa condemns this continued behavior of white entitlement in the sport of rugby.

“This behavior of entitlement by some white South Africans who continue to think that their whiteness represent 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. 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 player’s 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 & Recreation through its transformation charter that was adopted in 2011 noted that quota system has been largely unsuccessful in bringing about an effectively transformed sport system and causing 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 panelist despite his many successes in the field of play, I call upon SuperSport to suspend the two panelist while they are busy with full investigation. The continued appearance of Mallet and Botha will be seen as an endorsement of their alleged racist behavior” Minister Xasa added.

Minister Xasa calls upon all South Africans to continue to use sport to unite, create social cohesion and build our nation. Racist elements must be exposed and isolated.