Case against Boucher labelled a ‘political hatchet job’, ‘witch hunt’

This past week, the disciplinary hearing into the “gross misconduct” of Proteas coach Mark Boucher was supposedly scheduled to take play in May.

It follows the dramatic statement released recently, in which CSA confirmed that various charges had been levelled against Boucher.

Some of the accusations CSA levelled at Boucher included:

  • Historically repeatedly used racist and/or offensive and/or inappropriate nicknames regarding a Proteas team-mate.
  • Having had your racist and/or offensive and/or inappropriate utterances drawn to your attention, you failed to adequately and/or sufficiently and/or appropriately apologise for these utterances and/or acknowledge the racist nature of these utterances and/or hurt that they caused.
  • You have conducted yourself in a racist or subliminally racist manner; and/or
  • You have conducted yourself in a manner which is unbecoming of an employee in your position
  • Your conduct has brought CSA into disrepute.

This comes after former national spinner Paul Adams implicated Boucher 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”.

CSA previously confirmed that a charge sheet, containing both the disciplinary charges against Boucher, as well as his rights, was provided to him on 17 January. The upcoming inquiry will also consider concerns and allegations that arose following the resignation of former assistant coach, Enoch Nkwe.

In an article for TimesLive, however, Barney Mthombothi has accused Cricket South Africa of a ‘political hatchet job’.

“On the eve of the Indian tour, when everybody in cricket should have been focused on the job at hand, the board announced that Boucher was to face a disciplinary hearing. It’s like sending a general into with a bullet in his back, inflicted by his own side. The announcement proved to be good timing.

“The Proteas were hopelessely outgunned in the first Test. It may be the bulldog spirit instilled by the coach that they bounced back to win the series. The team was in the middle of the ODI series – and winning- when again the board made an unwelcome intervention, presenting Boucher with the charges.

“They couldn’t wait until the end of the tour. It was almost as if they wanted to humiliate the guy. They’re so desperate to get rid of him that they didn’t mind hanging out the dirty linen for the visitors to goggle at.”

You can read more of the article below:

Meanwhile, veteran cricket writer Colin Bryden wrote for SACricketMag.com that he believes Mark Boucher has done nothing to warrant the charges against him.

“I have been astonished by what appears to be a witch hunt against Mark Boucher, the national team head coach”, he wrote.

On Sunday, Rapport newspaper also revealed that Boucher’s powerhouse legal team is apparently in possession of WhatsApp messages that show their relationship was significantly better than Nkwe has portrayed.

Nkwe previously claimed he had been “undermined” and reduced to being a “cones boy” in a “toxic working environment”, but his allegations caught many in the Proteas squad off guard.

A source told Rapport that while Nkwe had valid complaints about his working relationship with the Proeas coach, he may have been influenced by a group of disenfranchised people who influenced him in overemphasising its negative aspects.

According to Netwerk24, following that meeting between the parties, the month of May has now been put forward as the possible start date for the proceedings, which means Boucher will continue in his current role throughout the duration of the upcoming series against New Zealand and Bangladesh.

While Boucher is being charged with gross misconduct, which could lead to his dismissal, CSA emphasised it is important that the independent inquiry first needs to test all allegations before any question of sanction can arise.

According to media reports, the charge sheet includes the following assertions: “The nature of your misconduct is gross and of such a serious nature to warrant termination of your employment.”

“Your conduct has resulted in an irretrievable breakdown in the trust relationship between you and CSA. In the circumstances, the sanction of dismissal will be sought before the Chairperson of the disciplinary enquiry,” the sheet continued.

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