Proteas

Cricket SA invites accused to reply to racism allegations at transformation hearings

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Proteas head coach Mark Boucher
Proteas head coach Mark Boucher
AFP

Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Thursday sent out a formal invitation to people accused of racism and other adverse allegations to reply to testimony levelled against them at their Social Justice and Nation-building (SJN) hearings that kicked off last month.

Some of the most high-profile accusations included former Proteas spinner and ex-Western Province coach Paul Adams alleging that current Proteas head coach Mark Boucher and some team-mates sang a derogatory song aimed at him.

According to Adams, the slur, "brown sh*t", would be sung at the team's fines meetings after games.

He said it didn't occur to him at the time that the song was racist but his wife was the one who brought it to his attention.

READ | Cricket SA hearings: Former CSA CEO Thabang Moroe revisits Ottis Gibson coaching appointment

Boucher did not comment on the specifics of Adams' allegation but said he would take up the opportunity SJN chairperson Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza has afforded to him and others.

"I have been asked by the SJN to submit a written reply to the various allegations made during the hearings that have taken place," Boucher said last week in a statement sent to City Press

"The documents that I have been furnished with, as well as the various reports in the media, require my full attention and consideration, which I will be giving to them over the course of the next week (this week).

"My intentions are to cooperate fully with all requests made by the ombud so that the objectives of the SJN can be achieved."

CSA said in its statement that the independent SJN project was notifying those mentioned or had allegations of discrimination levelled against of their chance to rebut the testimony.

"This process has awakened all of us to the realisation that, to heal, we need to confront the past, however painful the journey", Ntsebeza said.

"We should, however, be mindful that those who are alleged to have inflicted pain or wrong others also have an equal right to be heard. These are the necessary pillars that should drive the healing process we envisage."

Ntsebeza also heard that former Titans all-rounder Pierre Joubert allegedly called former Warriors fast bowler Sinethemba Mjekula by the 'K-word' in a Four-Day Franchise Series game in 2007.

When contacted by Sport24, Joubert flatly denied that he called Mjekula by the 'K-word'.

Others such as former CSA directors Eugenia Kula-Ameyaw and Omphile Ramela alleged irregularities in director of cricket Graeme Smith and Boucher's contracts.

Spinner Aaron Phangiso opened up about his pain of being picked for Proteas World Cup squads but never playing a match on two separate occasions and the financial impact it had on his career earnings.

Former batter Ashwell Prince spoke about how he battled to come to terms with being called a "quota player" in the Proteas setup despite an extensive playing career and proven run-getting pedigree.

Cricket South Africa's deadline for the submission is Wednesday, 18 August 2021. Submissions should be sent to submissions@cricketsaombuds.co.za or The Transformation Ombudsman, PO Box 55009, Northlands, 2116.

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