Cricket's transformation hearings postponed due to legal concerns

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Cricket South Africa (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)
Cricket South Africa (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has postponed the transformation ombudsman hearings due to what the interim board called a search for "further legal clarity".

The hearings, which are part of CSA’s Social Justice and Nation Building (SJN) project, were meant to begin Monday, 17 May but have since been postponed.

READ | CSA between a rock and a hard place

"After much fruitful discussion, it was agreed that the public hearings convened for [Monday] be postponed," said CSA in a statement Sunday night.

"The Board reiterated its support for the project and the Office of the Ombud

"Public hearings were set to start [Monday]. Both the Board and the Ombud are eager to ensure a fair and transparent process for all who participate in the proposed hearings.

"The SJN, an initiative of the previous Board and renegotiated with Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, is intended to help CSA understand the challenges to transformation and more specifically how to avoid past mistakes."

Interim board chairperson Stavros Nicolaou said: "Transformation is a national, not only a sporting imperative and CSA remains firmly committed to the deep work of transforming sport and society.

"We are grateful to the Ombud (Ntsebeza) for his commitment to the process and to those who have sought to participate in it. We have agreed with the Ombud that further legal clarity regarding the proposed hearings is imperative. Once we have such clarity, the process will continue."

A number of high-profile black former cricketers were expected to give testimony at the transformation hearings throughout the week, which would have brought back to the fore allegations of racial discrimination within cricket.

However, the Ombud, Ntsebeza, insisted that the process was still on track despite the postponement.

"The process is on track, however, it has become clear that there needs to be clarity regarding the process of any public hearings," he said.

"Failure to do so may compromise the legitimacy of any process embarked upon. My office will therefore be taking legal counsel as regards a proper process for any such hearings. I, therefore, welcome the postponement to ensure such procedural fairness."

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