Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
2 minute read
16 Dec 2021
8:28 am

Smith, Boucher accused in ‘tentative’ findings of SJN report

Ken Borland

Smith’s appointment of “his friend” Boucher as head coach was stated to be an example of “unfair discrimination” based on race.

Cricket South Africa director of cricket Graeme Smith (left) and Proteas coach Mark Boucher. Picture: Gallo Images

The Social Justice and Nation-Building report released on Wednesday not only claims the appointments of Cricket South Africa director of cricket Graeme Smith and Proteas head coach Mark Boucher were irregular but also alludes to “racial discrimination” on their behalves.

Despite these highly-damaging accusations, Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza’s report concludes with admissions that “it cannot make definite findings”, “there was no process in place for testing the submissions” and that his recommendations and findings are “merely tentative”.

Smith’s appointment as director of cricket in December 2019 was labelled as “flawed” because South Africa’s most successful captain was headhunted for the position, a common practice in the corporate world. He was initially approached by former CEO Thabang Moroe, who was later dismissed by CSA for numerous incidents of maladministration.

The fact that Smith did not want to work under Moroe or former CSA board president Chris Nenzani, both of whom left their posts under a cloud, was described as “racial bias against black management”.

The report makes no mention of the fact that Smith has continued to work under black African acting CEO Pholetsi Moseki and board president Lawson Naidoo since then with no issues.

Smith’s subsequent appointment of “his friend” Boucher as head coach was also stated to be an example of unfair discrimination based on race because he was chosen ahead of Enoch Nkwe, who was the interim head coach.

The report lists Boucher’s five franchise trophies in three seasons as coach of the Titans, but then compares them, as equivalents, with two second-tier titles in the Netherlands, a Cubs Week triumph, three amateur cups with the Gauteng Strikers and three franchise titles won by Nkwe. No mention is made of South Africa’s three heavy defeats under Nkwe in India on their previous assignment.

Despite Boucher’s immense international playing experience, the report concludes that the record-breaking wicketkeeper/batsman was appointed due to the colour of his skin.

ALSO READ: Cricket SA turned down by Jarana, still in search of CEO

Ex Proteas bowler and KZN Coastal coach Roger Telemachus, who has never led a franchise team, was also ruled to have been discriminated against.

The relatively new CSA board will now have to extricate themselves from a dangerous situation in terms of legal liability, with an initiative set up by the previous board making serious allegations which have already attracted the interest of several affected parties’ lawyers.

Numerous people found to have engaged in racist conduct by the report are believed to have received no notice that they had been implicated, and at least one leading lawyer has sent a 17-page email to the CSA board warning that the report is seriously flawed in legal terms.

For now, the CSA directors are ‘out of office’ but they will have to grapple with the SJN issue in the new year.