CAPE TOWN - Cricket South Africa (CSA) have appointed respected senior counsel, advocate Terry Motau, to chair the disciplinary hearing into the conduct of Proteas head coach Mark Boucher, who was fingered in the Social Justice and Nation (SJN) Building report.
Boucher, who was handed a charge sheet earlier this week containing allegations made against him, was strongly criticised in the final SJN report for trying to excuse or give reasons for calling his former teammate Paul Adams, “brown sh**”, as part of team song when the pair were in the SA side in the late 1990s.
The Transformation Ombudsman, advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, said in Boucher’s case it appeared - if he had undergone diversity and transformation training - that he was “apathetic” toward diversity and transformation.
In addition, CSA said in a statement released yesterday, that Motau’s inquiry would also “consider concerns and allegations that arose following the resignation of former assistant coach, Enoch Nkwe.”
Nkwe shocked the local cricket establishment last August when he suddenly quit as Proteas assistant coach, citing among other things, “concerns about the functioning and culture of the team environment”. Nkwe’s allegations formed part of an internal inquiry conducted under the auspices of current acting CEO, Pholetsi Moseki. Those findings have not been made public.
Boucher’s legal representatives and Motau will meet on January 26, to determine a timetable for the proceedings. The Proteas’ current series with India, finishes on Sunday and the team’s next assignment is in New Zealand for which they must leave in sufficient time in order to complete a 10-day quarantine period as per that country’s Covid protocols before the first Test that starts on February 17.
Motau has been involved in various legal inquiries in sport, mainly in local football, but is more famously known for heading up the team that conducted the forensic inquiry into the VBS scandal three years ago.
“The (CSA) Board remains 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 Constitution and labour legislation. It is now up to the inquiry to determine to which extent the allegations are true and justify the need for further disciplinary steps,” said the chairperson of the organisation’s Board, Lawson Naidoo.
Yesterday’s statement added that Boucher, who has been head coach of the Proteas for just over two years, is being charged with gross misconduct, which could lead to his dismissal. Cricket SA was at pains to emphasise the importance of the independent inquiry testing all allegations before any question of sanction can arise.
While there was no mention of Director of Cricket Graeme Smith on Thursday, CSA did say upon the release of the SJN report last month that he would also be facing a legal hearing into his not wanting to work with CSA’s former CEO, Thabang Moroe, who was subsequently dismissed based on the findings of a forensic audit conducted by firm Fundudzi.
The SJN found that Smith, in demanding not to answer to Moroe when he was appointed as Director of Cricket, “evinces his racial bias against black leadership at CSA”.
Smith, through his lawyer, David Becker, later slammed that assertion, stating that the fact that he’d worked under Moseki and under other black officials on the board and Members Council was proof that he wasn’t biased.
Cricket SA confirmed that further action based on the findings of the report would be announced in due course.