CSA drops racism charges against Coach Boucher

JOHANNESBURG: Cricket South Africa announced on Tuesday that all charges against head coach Mark Boucher have been dropped, leading to the abandonment of a disciplinary hearing which was due to start on May 16.

The 45-year-old former Test porter was facing accusations of racism, brought by the CSA, which could have led to his dismissal.

The oversight body admitted in a statement that there was “no basis to support any of the disciplinary charges”.

The allegations against Boucher followed social justice and networking hearings last year into discrimination in cricket.

Boucher was accused by former teammate Paul Adams of leading a song with racist words in post-game fine meetings while they were playing.

Adams announced on Sunday that he was not ready to testify at the hearing, telling the SJN ombudsman his comments related to the team’s overall culture rather than any specific player.

CSA noted in its statement that Boucher apologized to Adams and that apology was accepted.

It was also alleged that Boucher dismissed his black assistant coach Enoch Nkwe, leading to Nkwe’s resignation, but Nkwe was also unwilling to testify at the scheduled hearings.

Another accusation was that Boucher failed to effectively handle a “taking the knee” controversy in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. The CSA said its lawyers consulted with other potential witnesses and concluded that none of the three charges were viable.

The recent exoneration of cricket manager Graeme Smith, who like Boucher had been the subject of “provisional findings” by the SJN ombudsman, lawyer Dumisa Ntsebeza, “strengthened the conclusion that the charges against Mr. Boucher would be rejected”.

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