Proteas coach Mark Boucher has welcomed Cricket SA’s (CSA’s) withdrawal of what he called “unsustainable and unjustifiable” charges against him.
On Tuesday morning, CSA dropped a bombshell announcing they had withdrawn charges of discrimination, including those of racism, against Boucher because they said there was no basis to sustain them.
“I welcome the decision of CSA to unreservedly withdraw all charges against me. The allegations of racism which were levelled against me were unjustified and have caused me considerable hurt and anguish,” he said.
“The last few months have been extremely difficult to endure for my family and me. I am glad that the process has finally come to an end and that CSA has accepted that the charges against me are unsustainable.”
Some of the charges emanated from a report from CSA’s SJN (Social Justice and Nation Building) hearings that found Boucher had engaged in racist behaviour. This stemmed largely from his participation in the overtly racist song that referred to Paul Adams as “brown sh*t” during the team’s fines meetings when the two were Proteas teammates.
“I stand by my apology to Paul given during the SJN process for the hurt he felt during his time as a Proteas player,” Boucher said. “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.
“I consider that the matter is now finalised and closed and I do not intend making further statements on this matter. I look forward to continuing to focus on my job and to taking the Proteas men’s team to even greater heights.”
The CSA board announced the charges were dropped in a lengthy statement on Tuesday. It said the refusal of key witnesses — Boucher’s former assistant coach Enoch Nkwe and ex-SA teammate Paul Adams — to testify at the hearing, which was set to run from May 16 to 20, were crucial to the decision.
CSA had charged Boucher with gross misconduct in January after allegations of racism against the head coach emerged in Adams’ testimony at the SJN.