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Ken Borland

CSA come hard at Boucher in “aggressive attack”

Posted on February 14, 2022 by Ken

The Proteas may be performing at a renewed level of excellence at the moment, but Cricket South Africa continue to come hard at head coach Mark Boucher, who has now been formally charged with “gross misconduct” over the allegations of racism made against him by the Social Justice and Nation-Building report.

In what one CSA insider described as “an aggressive attack” on Boucher, the record-breaking wicketkeeper/batsman was served with charges under the organisation’s disciplinary code the day before the ODI series against India began.

Having pulled off an improbable 2-1 win in the Test series against India after losing the first match, the Proteas then registered an impressive victory in the first ODI in Paarl in midweek.

But the CSA Board’s antagonistic attitude towards their own national team and management was shown when they failed to send out any form of congratulatory message to the captain, players or coaching staff for beating the then No.1 side in Test cricket. CSA have made a habit in recent years of sending out congratulatory statements for even minor triumphs.

The SJN report accused Boucher of discrimination and using racial slurs relating to Paul Adams’ complaint of the Proteas team using a song referring to him as “a brown shit in the ring” during their fines meetings back in the late 1990s.

CSA on Thursday afternoon confirmed that Advocate Terry Motau (SC) would chair the disciplinary hearing, with the parties meeting on January 26 to determine a timetable for proceedings.

Legal sources have suggested that CSA’s already depleted kitty could be emptied even further if they try to use the SJN report to dismiss either Boucher or director of cricket Graeme Smith. Informed sources have indicated enquiries are still being made into whether Smith should also be charged, but that matter is complicated by the fact that the former Proteas captain is technically an independent contractor.

Lawyers representing several respondents implicated in the report have labelled it as “flawed” and have pointed out that the ombudsman, Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, admitted himself that his findings were “tentative” and that he could not make “definitive findings” based on “untested evidence”.

The impartiality of the lawyers involved has also been called into question because 260 paragraphs of the final report were merely copied-and-pasted directly from the complainants’ submissions.

The fact that such a significant accusation as racism has now been publicly made against Boucher and Smith is bound to lead to major legal challenges.

“They are not going to go quietly, they’re not just fighting for their jobs but also to clear their names,” a source close to both former Proteas stars said.

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