Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith exonerated of racism claims

By Piyush

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Former Cricket South Africa (CSA) Director of Cricket and captain Graeme Smith has been exonerated of racism claims against him after the outcome of the board’s Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) commission’s report.

In December previous year, a 235-page report given by the SJN Commission head Dumisa Ntsebeza had laid charges against Smith, current head coach Mark Boucher and former captain AB de Villiers, among others of involving in racial discrimination.

The Ombudsman’s SJN report had made plethora of ‘tentative findings’ concerning allegations of discrimination and racism.

Nevertheless, the Ombudsman had shown that he was unable to make ‘definite findings’ and had suggested that a further process be undertaken, after which CSA started a formal inquiry.

The report had claimed that Smith had disfavoured against the black players by not opting them in the national team.

Following a full intervention process, advocates Ngwako Maenetje SC and Michael Bishop made clear to the former captain of all the 3 account he was accused for.

“There was no evidentiary basis to conclude that Mr Smith engaged in racial discrimination against Mr Thami Tsolekile during the period 2012-2014,” the CSA statement cited.

“There was no evidentiary basis to conclude that Mr Smith was racially biased against black leadership at CSA” and

“There was no evidentiary basis to conclude Mr Smith’s appointment of Mr Mark Boucher, rather than Mr Enoch Nkwe, as coach of the men’s Proteas team in 2019 amounted to unfair racial discrimination,” it appended.

Lawson Naidoo, Chair of the CSA Board, stated, “The manner in which these issues have been dealt with and resolved by the arbitration proceedings confirms CSA’s commitment to deal with the SJN issues in a manner that treats them with utmost seriousness but also ensures fairness, due process and finality.”

Smith’s agreement as the Director of Cricket finished, as per his original deal term, at the end of March 2022 and CSA has publicized the position.

“We fully appreciate that after his time as the DoC, Graeme wants new challenges in the commercial and cricket worlds. He has a long career ahead of him and we very much hope that he will still work in the cricket world in appropriate capacities going forward,” Naidoo further said.

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