Following the walk-out of former Springbok, Ashwin Willemse during a live SuperSport rugby broadcast on Saturday, AfriForum has criticised what it calls the premature “conviction” of Nick Mallett and Naas Botha blaming it on “anti-white” sentiment.
Willemse‚ a former Springbok‚ stormed off the set after an apparent disagreement with his co-presenters‚ Botha and Mallett‚ saying he would not be patronised by two individuals who had played in the apartheid era.
AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel said the organisation found it regrettable that an outburst with an apparent racial undertone had happened during the broadcast.
He added that AfriForum believed in a society where mutual recognition and respect between communities were promoted.
“Yesterday evening’s incident‚ however‚ can only exacerbate racial polarisation.”
He said it was “especially worrisome” that Minister of Sport Tokozile Xasa and DA leader Mmusi Maimane had – in their reaction to “this regrettable incident” – decided that Botha and Mallett should carry the blame.
This despite no investigation into the incident yet.
“AfriForum regrets that anti-white sentiment in the country is already so rife that white people are automatically blamed for whatever goes wrong‚” Kriel said.
Sports minister Tokozile Xasa on Sunday called on SuperSport to suspend Mallett and Botha while it investigates the incident‚ saying their continued appearance would be “be seen as an endorsement of their alleged racist behaviour”.
Xasa also condemned what she referred to as the continued behaviour of white entitlement in rugby.
“This behaviour 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 [a] quota system to normalise an otherwise abnormal system‚” said Xasa.