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Presenter walks out of studio as 'on air' race row erupts in South Africa

By Online Editors

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Former Springbok turned pundit Ashwin Willemse “walked off” live on air in South Africa after an apparent row erupted relating to the Springbok quota system.


There were dramatic scenes as Willemse – who is a pundit for SuperSport – stormed out of the studio despite being live on air.

Willemse – who won 19 caps for the Springboks – spoke to camera regarding how he was perceived as a ‘quota player’ during his professional career and that he refused to be made fun of before dramatically walking off set.

His grievance appeared to be directed at fellow pundits Nick Mallett and Naas Botha – who he referred to as ‘apartheid era’ players.

SuperSport pointed out on Twitter – rather obviously – that they were “aware of the on-air incident and is looking into the matter.”


The South African Department of Sport are pushing through regulations that mean that by 2019 50 percent of the Springbok team are required to be players of colour, with 60 percent of those players needing to be ‘black African’.

The controversial system has its critics, both within and outside South Africa.

Willemse played on the wing for South Africa between 2003 and 2007, scoring 5 tries in 19 appearances.

In 2003 he was named SA Rugby Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year and the Players’ Player of the Year at the end of that season – despite only turning 22 a few months earlier.


The Springbok website describe him as “a tough a teak winger with a lot of speed to burn, a nose for the tryline and great anticipation. He played in two Rugby World Cups and was part of the squad that won the tournament in France in 2007 – his last season in international rugby.”


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