Former Proteas captain Graeme Smith has been cleared of all racism allegations brought against him following a two-man arbitration panel appointed by Cricket South Africa.
Smith had served as Cricket SA’s Director of Cricket from December 2019 until March this year but found himself in hot water after a final report released by CSA’s Transformation ombudsman, Adv. Dumisa Ntsebeza claimed that “tentative findings” had indicated that Smith had engaged in racially biased and discriminatory behaviour during his time as Proteas captain and CSA’s director of cricket (DOC), as per News24.
Cricket SA released a statement on Sunday, 24 April, revealing the ruling. According to the sporting organisation, the ruling was preceded by Adv. Ngwako Maenetje SC and Adv. Michael Bishop who found no evidence that Smith had shown bias in any of the incidents levelled against him.
CSA noted the difficulties that Smith has had to “endure” during this time due to the “unwarranted public disclosures of his personal information, including his remuneration, during the SJN process.”
The CSA went on to note during its statement that Maenetje and Bishop had concluded that:
- There was no evidentiary basis to conclude that Mr Smith engaged in racial discrimination against Mr Thami Tsolekile during the period 2012-2014;
- There was no evidentiary basis to conclude that Mr Smith was racially biased against black leadership at CSA; and
- There was no evidentiary basis to conclude Mr Smith’s appointment of Mr Mark Boucher, rather than Mr Enoch Nkwe, as coach of the men’s Proteas team in 2019 amounted to unfair racial discrimination.
CSA CEO Pholetsi Moseki, who had worked alongside Smith had also thanked him for his contribution to cricket.
“On behalf of the Exco, staff and players at CSA, I would like to thank Graeme for all that he did as the Director of Cricket. He put up his hand at a particularly tumultuous period for CSA and he has often gone beyond his contracted duties to assist CSA during his term,” he said.
Picture: SA Cricket Mag