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Supersport to investigate Ashwin Willimse live walk-off

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SuperSport has confirmed that it is investigating Saturday’s incident where analyst and former rugby player, Ashwin Willemse, walked off set while live on-air, saying that he will not be undermined by the panel, former rugby stars, Nick Mallet and Naas Botha.

SuperSport, a South African group of television channels that provides sports content, stated in a tweet that it views the incident in a serious light.

“We will conduct a full investigation and interview all relevant individuals.”

The former Lions and Springbok wing, along with his panel, was conducting a live analysis on Saturday’s rugby game between Brumbies and the Lions at Ellis Park Stadium.

While no clarity has been given about what led to the on-air walk-off, Willemse is heard telling the panel that he has earned respect in the game.

“As a player, I was labelled a quota player for a long time and I have worked hard to earn my own respect in this game, so I am not going to be patronized by two individuals who have played in an apartheid, a segregated era, and come and undermine [other people].”

Prior to Willemse’s walk-off, he can be heard asking Botha for his analysis of the game.

“Naas, what do you think about it, don’t you think it was a good game – what’s your view?”

To which Botha replies: “I’ve used all the time before the game, it’s all your time [now]!”

Willemse quickly interrupts, saying:

“I think we are not going to patronize each other here.”

The interview continues with Mallet and Naas’ analysis, which was followed by Willemse’s walk-off.

[Footage: Lui Spot]

The incident has since spurred discussion around the issue of race within South African rugby.

VOC 91.3fm

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