Ashwin graduates with master’s degree from Wits

Former Springbok wing Ashwin Willemse at Wits University on Thursday July 5 2018.
Former Springbok wing Ashwin Willemse at Wits University on Thursday July 5 2018.
Image: Ashwin Willemse

Former Springbok rugby wing Ashwin Willemse has earned a master’s degree in entrepreneurship and new venture creation at the University of the Witwatersrand.

The graduation on Thursday would have been a muchneeded diversion for Willemse, who is involved in an ongoing dispute with SuperSport after he walked off set in May.

The 36-year-old 2007 Rugby World Cup-winning squad member walked out on his fellow panelists Naas Botha and Nick Mallett at the SuperSport studios in Randburg, after a Super Rugby game between the Lions and the Brumbies at the Ellis Park Stadium on May 19.

Willemse‚ who represented the Springboks in 19 Tests between 2003 and 2007‚ spoke of having being labelled a “quota player”.

He said he refused to be “patronised by two individuals who had played in an apartheid/segregated era”.

He went on to say he “cannot work with people who undermine other people” and that he was “glad it happened on live TV so people could see”.

Mallett‚ who coached the Springboks between 1997 and 2000‚ played two Tests for the Springboks in 1984 while Botha’s 28 Springbok Tests were between 1980 and 1992.

Although SuperSport cleared Botha and Mallett of racism‚ it is still unclear when they will resume studio duties.

Botha is abroad and Mallett has spent some time in the Kruger National Park watching a different type of game.

Willemse confirmed through his lawyers last month that he would approach the Equality Court for relief after the findings that cleared the two men of racism.