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Ken Borland

AB expresses his SJN unhappiness, others will approach CSA Board

Posted on January 19, 2022 by Ken

Former Proteas captain AB de Villiers has already taken public umbrage at the findings of the Social Justice and Nation-Building Report and other players and officials who have been named will also be expressing their unhappiness in letters to the Cricket South Africa board.

SJN ombudsman Dumisa Ntsebeza accused De Villiers of unfair discrimination based on racial grounds due to his leading role in the non-selection of Khaya Zondo for the decisive last ODI of their tour to India in 2015.

De Villiers, who stated in his affidavit to the SJN that he had earlier been told by the selectors that Zondo was in the squad as a learning experience and not to be part of the playing XI, responded on social media with a message saying his opposition to the then-uncapped Zondo’s selection was purely based on cricketing reasons.

“Throughout my career, I expressed honest cricketing opinions only ever based on what I believed was best for the team, never based on anyone’s race. That’s the fact,” De Villiers said.

The CSA board will consider what action to take based on the report in the new year.

The fact that Ntsebeza himself admitted that the SJN “cannot make definite findings”, “there was no process in place for testing the submissions” and that his recommendations and findings are “merely tentative”, will give the board some leeway, especially since so many of the implicated are lawyering up.

Others, however, have expressed their lack of confidence in the ability of the entire process to treat them fairly.

“I am afraid there isn’t much to say that will benefit me at all. I was found guilty before any response by a kangaroo court,” one former player told The Citizen on condition of anonymity.

“I am trying to take the higher ground without it being a tit-for-tat argument, but I am spending too much on lawyer’s fees already.

“But it doesn’t suit the narrative, I am not holding my breath, we’ve been hung out to dry, so I am not expecting that to change,” he said.

De Villiers has, of course retired from all cricket and so is out of CSA’s jurisdiction, but the originators of the SJN hearings have wanted the prize heads of Proteas coach Mark Boucher and director of cricket Graeme Smith for a long time.

Ntsebeza has delivered what they wanted, but critics of the SJN report say his report is fatally flawed on legal grounds and CSA will undoubtedly have to tread carefully unless they are to find themselves embroiled in more courtroom battles.

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