JOHANNESBURG: Former Cricket South Africa (CSA) Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith has been cleared by two independent arbitrators of racism allegations against him, which emanated from CSA's Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) process.
In December 2021, Dumisa Ntsebeza, the SJN Ombudsman, had made "tentative findings" regarding various persons, including Graeme Smith, but indicated that he was not in a position to make "definite findings" on allegations before him. The Ombudsman had recommended that a further formal process should take place to achieve finality on these issues.
CSA followed these recommendations by initiating an arbitration process regarding Smith before two independent advocates, Ngwako Maenetje and Michael Bishop.
During the full arbitration process, both CSA and Smith were legally represented and witnesses were called and cross-examined by both sides, and the findings and evidence from the SJN process awere placed before the arbitrators.
In the arbitration award, Maenetje and Bishop determined that, "There was no evidentiary basis to conclude that Mr Smith engaged in racial discrimination against Thami Tsolekile (former cricketer) during the period 2012/2014. There was no evidentiary basis to conclude that Mr Smith was racially biased against black leadership at CSA.
"There was no evidentiary basis to conclude Smith's appointment of Mark Boucher, rather than Enoch Nkwe, as coach of the men's Proteas team in 2019 amounted to unfair racial discrimination. The arbitration award directed CSA to pay Smith's costs," the advocates said in the judgement.
Smith's contract as Director of Cricket ended in March this year and CSA has publicly advertised the position. (IANS)
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