WATCH | I was at 'breaking point': Ashwin Willemse

Ashwin Willemse.
Ashwin Willemse.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Former Springbok rugby player Ashwin Willemse says he walked off the SuperSport set in May 2018 after being brought to “breaking point”‚ and is ready to explain to the SA Human Rights Commission what led him to that point.

“I reached a breaking point. The camel’s back was broken. I made a statement where I articulated what I believe is happening to me by the conduct of these two individuals‚ Nick [Mallett] and Naas [Botha]‚” Willemse told TimesLIVE on Thursday.

“They infringed my dignity and that’s what I am going to argue… hopefully the process at the human rights commission can affirm that.”

In a wide-ranging interview‚ Willemse talks of his shock when he found out about an email from Mallet about himself that was sent behind his back.

“If you’re going to feel that way about a person‚ have the backbone to say it. Having a backbone would mean I could come to you and say: ‘Ashwin‚ I no longer want to work with you.’

“It was just confirming what I always thought to be the case‚ but never had evidence to prove.”

He added that he hoped his former black colleagues would also testify against SuperSport.

The commission this week confirmed it would conduct a formal and public inquiry into allegations of racism at SuperSport and investigate the circumstances that led to Willemse walking off set after a tense interaction with fellow analysts Botha and Mallett.

During that interaction‚ Willemse spoke of being labelled a “quota player” and refused to be “patronised by two individuals who played in an apartheid/segregated era”.

Former Springbok rugby player Ashwin Willemse sat down to talk about what led to him walking off set during a live Supersport broadcast and how the incident has impacted on his life as well as what he hopes to achieve going forward.

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