Siya Kolisi found himself facing a PR storm this week, but one person who is firmly on his side is sports anchor, Robert Marawa

Siya had the timelines blazing this week when he commented on the much-debated “quota” system in South African sports. Siya was questioned on transformation in South African sports while he was on ambassadorial duty in Japan. However, his response sent shockwaves that were so resonant that they were keenly felt in South Africa.

In the interview with Japanese network, Kyodo News, Siya said to the camera:

“I don’t think he (Mandela) would have supported that (quotas), but I don’t know him. I would not want to be picked because of my skin colour because that surely would not be good for the team, and the guys around you would know.”

Siya’s comments sparked an outcry from South African social media users, as many members of black Twitter accused him of being “whitewashed” – so to speak

The belief was that Siya was out of touch with the struggles of many black people around the country and many accused him of speaking from a place of privilege and/or ignorance.

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However, one person who is still backing the Springboks loose forward is Robert Marawa, who insisted that Siya has to lead the nation at the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

Marawa was not quick to let our captain off the hook, but he did not believe that the comments deserved as harsh a punishment as Siya being dropped as captain

When followers urged the captain to take responsibility for his words, Marawa suggested that it was possible to hold him accountable for his words without necessarily stripping him of the captaincy.

The discussion rumbled on for days on Twitter but the furore has also given way to some balanced commentary. Many people have not only sympathised with Kolisi for the point of view he shares, but also understood the underlying points that he was trying to articulate.

You can watch Siya Kolisi’s interview below and let us know what you think of the comments that incensed a number of people on social media: