At the same time, considering the legacy of the stadium, the iconic clock tower will be conserved as a heritage structure.
Former Director of Cricket for Cricket South Africa (CSA), Graeme Smith has been cleared off the racism allegations against him by two of the independent arbitrators. The allegations had emanated from the CSA’s Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) process.
In December 2021, Dumisa Ntsebeza who is the SJN Ombudsman had made some ‘tentative findings’ about several people which included the former South African cricketer but later said that he wasn’t in a position to make a ‘definitive finding’ against the individual. He later on recommended to further have a final process through which there can be a certainty on these issues.
The ruling body then started to implement the final process on his recommendation and set up an arbitration process with two independent advocates Ngwako Maenetje and Michael Bishop with regard to Graeme Smith.
During the full arbitration process, the CSA and Smith were represented legally and all the different witnesses were examined and cross examined as well, and all the findings and evidence which came out during this process were placed before the arbitrators.
In the arbitration award, Maenetje and Bishop determined that, “There was no evidentiary basis to conclude that Mr Smith engaged in racial discrimination against Mr Thami Tsolekile (former cricketer) during the period 2012/2014. There was no evidentiary basis to conclude that Mr Smith was racially biased against black leadership at CSA.
“There was no evidentiary basis to conclude Mr Smith’s appointment of Mr Mark Boucher, rather than Mr Enoch Nkwe, as coach of the men’s Proteas team in 2019 amounted to unfair racial discrimination. The arbitration award directed CSA to pay Mr Smith’s costs,” the advocates stated in the judgement.
“The manner in which these issues have been dealt with and resolved by the arbitration proceedings 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.
“Now that finality on these processes has been reached, it is appropriate to recognise the extraordinary contribution that Graeme (Smith) has made to South African cricket, first as the longest-serving Test captain in cricket history and then as Director of Cricket from 2019 to 2022. His role as the DoC has been critical in rebuilding the Proteas men’s team in particular and has laid a solid foundation for his successor.” said Lawson Naidoo, Chair of the CSA Board.
The Director of Cricket post which was held by Smith on a contractual basis ended in March and CSA is advertising the same publicly now.
“We fully appreciate that after his time as the DoC, Graeme wants new challenges in the commercial and cricket worlds. He has a long career ahead of him and we very much hope that he will still work in the cricket world in appropriate capacities going forward,” added Naidoo.
CSA said it “appreciates” all the difficulty Graeme Smith had to endure including the “unwarranted public disclosures” of his personal information, including his remuneration, during the SJN process.
“On behalf of the staff and players at CSA, I would like to thank Graeme for all that he did as the Director of Cricket. He put up his hand at a particularly tumultuous period for CSA and he has often gone beyond his contracted duties to assist CSA during his term,” said CSA CEO Pholetsi Moseki.
(Inputs from IANS)