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Cricket South Africa drops charges against Mark Boucher

By Real11 - May 10 2022 192 Views
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Cricket South Africa drops charges against Mark Boucher

CSA have dropped charges against Mark Boucher after the disciplinary hearing and the former SA international has confirmed that he will continue to serve as the head coach of the team. The startling news caught everyone’s attention days after Paul Adams refused to testify in the hearing, which was to have started on Monday and could have led to Boucher’s removal. 

“CSA has concluded that there is no basis to sustain any of the disciplinary charges, including charges of racism, [against Boucher]. The board of CSA has therefore formally and unreservedly withdrawn all of the charges." A statement attributed to Boucher quoted him  saying: "I look forward to continuing to focus on my job and to taking the Proteas men's team to even greater heights."

When asked about Social Justice and Nation Building (SJN) Hearings in July, Adams replied Boucher had been among the teammates who had called him ‘brown shit’ in a dressing room song played during his playing career. The mention of Boucher’s name was relevant to what became the disciplinary hearing proceedings as he is a full time CSA employee.

Boucher was also brought under the scrutiny over his relationship with former assistant coach Enoch Nkwe and his way of handling the ‘Black Live Matter’ movement within the team. 

Mr Adams recently announced that he had withdrawn from testifying against Mr Boucher during the disciplinary hearing," CSA's statement said. "In doing so, Mr Adams stated that his concerns articulated during the SJN process were about the overall 'culture' in the Proteas team during the early 2000s, rather than being about any particular player. During the SJN process, Mr Boucher formally apologised to Mr Adams. After the SJN process, Mr Adams indicated to CSA's lawyers that he accepts this apology. Mr Nkwe decided that he too did not wish to testify against Mr Boucher during the disciplinary hearing. In doing so, Mr Nkwe stated publicly that he did not intend to take sides regarding Mr Boucher and that 'whatever happens in that process, I hope the outcome will be the one that's best for the game'. CSA's lawyers engaged with various other potential witnesses over the last month and concluded that none of the three charges were sustainable."

The exoneration by an independent arbitrator last month of former director of cricket Gream Smith, on charges of racism that also appeared out of the SJN report, declared the verdict on Boucher:  "The very recent ruling.. in the Graeme Smith arbitration fortified the conclusion that the charges against Mr. Boucher would be dismissed. Having taken all of the above into account, as well as the advice of its external lawyers, CSA concluded that there was no basis to sustain any of the charges against Mr Boucher."

In a statement Boucher was quoted as saying  "The allegations of racism which were levelled against me were unjustified and have caused me considerable hurt and anguish. The last few months have been extremely difficult to endure for me and my family. I am glad that the process has finally come to an end and that CSA has accepted that the charges against me are unsustainable.

"I stand by my apology to Paul given during the SJN process for the hurt he felt during his time as a Proteas player. As I stated in my affidavit to the SJN process, some of the things that were said and done in those days were totally inappropriate and unacceptable and in retrospect, understandably offensive. I am proud to now be part of a team culture that is inclusive and whose objective is to be respectful to every person."

The development is probable to promote further racial discimination and division among South Africa’s incessantly flawed cricket public. In a few white circles, it will be deemed as the justification of the bad practices of the past and may even lead to an increase in the racial slurs being used in discussions over the game. The Black and Brown community will feel defrauded out of the best chance they have had to secure a little bit of justice for historic wrongs, some of which even continue to this day. Had Boucher been found guilty and consequently dismissed, things would have been quite the opposite.  

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