South Africa’s Smith cleared allegations of racism by the independent panel

Former South Africa director of cricket Graeme Smith has been cleared of racism allegations by two independent arbitrators, the country’s cricket board (CSA) said on Sunday.

Smith and current head coach Mark Boucher were among a number of CSA employees implicated in “tentative findings” made by the Social Justice and Nation Building Ombudsman last year into alleged discrimination within the sport’s national governing organization in the past.

Boucher has been accused of racism by former teammate Paul Adams and of sidelining his former assistant coach Enoch Nkwe. He denies both allegations and will face a CSA disciplinary hearing on charges of gross misconduct next month.

The panel concluded that there was no evidence that Smith, also a former captain of the national side, racially discriminated against former player Thami Tsolekile between 2012 and 2014, or that he was biased against Black leadership at CSA.

It added that there was no merit in the allegation that Smith favored Boucher over Nkwe during the selection process for head coach in 2019.

“The manner in which these issues have been dealt with… confirms CSA’s commitment to deal with the SJN issues in a manner that treats them with utmost seriousness but also ensures fairness, due process and finality,” said Lawson Naidoo, chair of the CSA board.

“Now that finality on these processes has been reached, it is appropriate to recognize the extraordinary contribution that Graeme has made to South African cricket.”

The 41-year-old Smith’s tenure as director of cricket ended at the end of last month.

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