Towards the end of last year, it was confirmed that CSA was set to start formal enquiries into the conduct of director of cricket Graeme Smith and coach Mark Boucher after the release of the SJN report.
Part of the findings (which are available on the CSA website) revealed that the Ombudsman found the appointments of Smith and Boucher to be “flawed from a procedural perspective”.
Further formal inquiries will take place later this year, and will investigate the conduct of the former Proteas legends. The Ombudsman’s Report included findings that Smith and Boucher had acted in a prejudicial or discriminatory manner.
Boucher has been charged with “gross misconduct” after former national spinner Paul Adams implicated the Proteas head coach in a racial incident when the two were teammates, alleging that the former wicket-keeper was part of a group who called him a “brown sh*t”.
Meanwhile, some of the allegations levelled against Smith included the fact that he didn’t follow the correct protocols in pushing for the appointment of good friend and former teammate Boucher.
However, in a presentation to Parliament’s portfolio committee on sport, the Daily Maverick reports that current CSA chairperson Lawson Naidoo exonerated the new board, whose members took up their positions last June.
“The director of cricket and head coach were appointed in December 2019 under the previous board. It is clear from the [SJN] report that there were irregularities in those processes. Those appointments were subsequently endorsed and ratified by that board. Our hands are tied in terms of those processes,” Naidoo said.
Boucher, Smith could still be set to exit the scene
The fact remains that the charges brought against Boucher “could lead to his dismissal”, while it also appears increasingly likely that Graeme Smith’s tenure as director of cricket will come to an end after March this year.
Although much of the focus has fallen on Boucher, who insists he is “looking forward to dealing with and defending these allegations“, Smith will also have to face the music.
Recently speaking on the Robert Marawa Sports show, Naidoo confirmed there would be an “open process” of transparency when it came to the director of cricket position.
“With regards to Graeme Smith’s contract ending in March this year, the position of Director of Cricket will be advertised and there will be an open process,” Naidoo commented.
Naidoo has also said the respective legal teams are still communicating to finalise Smith’s disciplinary procedure.
Meanwhile, Naidoo told the committee that CSA would follow due process in all the legal processes.
“I can assure the portfolio committee that the board took legal advice on whether that [suspension] was possible and we received the legal opinion from two senior lawyers.
“They advised us that there was no legal basis to suspend Mark Boucher and Graeme Smith. The board took a unanimous decision not to suspend because it would open us up to unnecessary litigation.”