On Monday, Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced that Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher will face formal inquiries into claims of racial discrimination. Smith is CSA’s director of cricket, while Boucher is the national team’s head coach.
This follows the submission of the Social Justice and Nation Building (SJN) report to CSA last week. The Ombudsman’s process was initially due to last four months but was later extended to over six months at the Ombudsman’s request.
CSA made available extensive legal and other resources to this Ombudsman for this process, including spending more than R7.5 million on the process, despite an initial budget of R5 million.
The Ombudsman’s SJN Report made various “tentative findings” regarding allegations of discrimination and racism, but indicated that [Adv Dumisa Ntsebeza] was not in a position to make “definite findings”.
According to CSA, “the Board has decided to institute formal enquiries into CSA employees, suppliers or contractors who are implicated by the SJN report.”
The Board has done so mindful of its duty to treat allegations of racism or discrimination with the utmost seriousness and in a manner that ensures fairness and due process in terms of South Africa’s labour legislation and the Constitution.
“The formal inquiries will take place early in the new year. They will include formal inquiries into the conduct of Graeme Smith, the CSA Director of Cricket, and Mark Boucher, the coach of the Proteas Men’s team. The Ombudsman’s Report included findings that Smith and Boucher had acted in a prejudicial or discriminatory manner,” CSA adds.
CSA board chairperson, Lawson Naidoo said: “CSA respects the SJN process and we are engaging with the report in detail and holistically. We have taken careful cognisance of the recommendation of the ombudsman, that in appropriate cases, a further process should be instituted to test the evidence and submissions made, and we have decided that this is indeed the appropriate route to follow.
“We hope this will give implicated parties a fair opportunity to be heard so that finality can be achieved, and any final findings can then be acted on.”
CSA added that “further steps and action by CSA to transform cricket and act on other applicable recommendations in the SJN report, aligned to the board’s new strategic framework and pillars of access, inclusion and excellence, are set to be announced in the new year.”
Smith and Boucher remain in their positions and will continue to carry out their duties during the India tour.
Picture: SA Cricket Mag