Proteas coach Boucher: Racism allegations were ‘hurtful and incorrect’

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
South Africa head coach Mark Boucher before the second ODI match against Ireland at The Village in Dublin on July 13, 2021.
South Africa head coach Mark Boucher before the second ODI match against Ireland at The Village in Dublin on July 13, 2021.
Image: Seb Daly/Gallo Images

SA coach Mark Boucher says allegations of racial discrimination against him are “hurtful and factually incorrect” but he will co-operate fully with Cricket SA’s (CSA) Social Justice and Nation Building (SJN) project.

Last week, former SA left-arm unorthodox spinner Paul Adams testified under oath at the hearings investigating racial discrimination in cricket that Boucher and other white national teammates called him a “brown s**t” in a team song.

Adams‚ who at stages during his eight-year international career was the only black player, and others in the minority, in the Proteas set-up‚ put the spotlight on the culture of discrimination in the national team, alleging some white players were influential in that.

“I have been asked by the SJN to submit a written reply to the various allegations made during the hearings that have taken place,” said Boucher, who last week returned to the country with the national team from its successful tours of the West Indies and Ireland.

“The documents that I have been furnished with, as well as the various reports in the media, require my full attention and consideration, which I will be giving to them over the course of the next week.

“My intentions are to co-operate fully with all requests made by the ombudsman, so that the objectives of the SJN can be achieved. The allegations in the media currently are hurtful, factually incorrect and do not serve the greater good of our country or the intentions of the SJN in mending past hurts and building relations.

“I will not be commenting any further until the process with the SJN has been completed.”

Some of the black cricketers who have shared their stories of discrimination and racism in the game under oath at the SJN hearings include Adams, Roger Telemachus, Aaron Phangiso and Thami Tsolekile.

This week, TimesLIVE asked minister of sport Nathi Mthethwa if rugby should follow suit and openly address long-standing allegations of discrimination and racism in the sport, and he said the department would support such a process.

 “If SA Rugby, like CSA, initiates a similar process, the minister (Nathi Mthethwa) would support it,” was the written response from the department on behalf of Mthethwa.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.