SJN finds Smith, Boucher and de Villers discriminatory and prejudicial towards players of colour

Abhishek Singh

Abhishek Singh

Author| Dec 15, 3:12 PM

PC- Twitter
PC- Twitter

Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) commission formed by Cricket South Africa to investigate the matters of racial discrimination on the part of its players and selectors towards players of colour in the national team, has finally submitted its report. 

The SJN ombudsman Dumisa Ntsebeza has found three main heroes from South Africa’s golden generation of cricketers in former captain current Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith, current head coach Mark Boucher and former captain AB de Villiers to have been engaged in prejudicial conduct, which was based on the race of the player.

In the final 235-page report, the ombudsman has recommended that a permanent ombudsman needs to be appointed, funded and handed resources to deal with race and gender-based complaints in CSA and the body must also put in place an anonymous grievance policy for players to put forward their issues without any fear. 

In the matter, no reparations have been granted to those found to have been unfairly discriminated against.  However, the report does make case for reparations that could be given to players by a permanent office. 

The SJN process, which was commissioned after many players of colour came forward and narrated their ordeals in the aftermath of the Balck Lives Matter movement all across the world. It was initially supposed to last four months but ended up lasting over six months, costing the organisation R7.5 million (US$500,000). 

Saying that they will engage with the report further in 2022, Lawson Naidoo, the CSA board chairperson confirmed that no decision has so far been taken to punish anyone.

"The board is still considering the report. It is a hefty document and needs a holistic response. No decisions have been taken on any issues raised in the report and it would be premature to speculate on any action that may be taken,” Naidoo was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo. 

“Overall, the SJN was an important process and that's why the board backed it all the way. It is now the responsibility of the board to engage with the report,” he further added.

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