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Closing arguments in Graeme Smith’'s arbitration with CSA set for March 22

Tiisetso Malepa Sports reporter
Cricket SA director of cricket Graeme Smith at St George's Park in Gqeberha during a CSA T20 Challenge match between Momentum Multiply Titans and GBets Warriors on February 7 2022.
Cricket SA director of cricket Graeme Smith at St George's Park in Gqeberha during a CSA T20 Challenge match between Momentum Multiply Titans and GBets Warriors on February 7 2022.
Image: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images

The oral evidence in the arbitration between Cricket SA (CSA) and its director of cricket and former captain Graeme Smith proceeded without hold-ups last week, and closing arguments have been provisionally scheduled for March 22.

Advocate Ngwako Maenetje SC, who has been jointly appointed by the two parties along with Michael Bishop to oversee the arbitration, said oral evidence was completed and heard over three days.

“The arbitration sat from March 7 to 9 and the hearing of oral evidence was completed. The hearing went well without interruptions,” Maenetje told TimesLIVE.

“Closing argument is scheduled to be heard on March 22, after which the arbitrators will have 20 days to render a decision.”

Maenetje said the March 22 date may change.

Smith’s contract as CSA director of cricket expires on March 31 and the post is expected to be advertised.

The arbitration came after Smith was implicated in findings of the Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) report for alleged racist conduct over his alleged preferences for certain players when he sat on the selection panel as captain in his playing days.

The SJN report also accused Smith of racial bias as a director of cricket for his alleged refusal to report to then CEO Thabang Moroe, who is black.

The SJN, chaired by Dumisa Ntsebeza SC, said its findings were “tentative” and called on CSA to investigate further.

Smith and CSA agreed to formal arbitration proceedings and Maenetje and Bishop were appointed the joint arbitrators.

CSA has committed to make the findings of the arbitration public through the media.

Announcing March 7 as the start date of proceedings last week, CSA chair Lawson Naidoo said the use of formal arbitration is in keeping with CSA’s commitment to follow due process in dealing with recommendations from the SJN report in a manner that is transparent and fair.

Smith’s attorney, David Becker, was quoted in the same statement saying his client looks forward to demonstrating through this impartial process that the findings are without merit.

“Graeme and his advisers have consistently voiced material concerns with the SJN process, in particular the ‘tentative findings’ made against him,” Becker said.

Smith became CSA’s first director of cricket after he took over the newly established office in December 2019 on an interim basis until his permanent appointment for two years in April 2020.

His appointment was found to be flawed by the SJN report but CSA chair Naidoo said there was not much his board could do about that as the appointment was done under the previous board.


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