Johannesburg - Cricket South Africa’s Transformation Ombudsman, Adv. Dumisa Ntsebeza recommended that the organisation establishes a permanent Office of the Transformation Ombudsman, that is impartial, independent and would operate outside of CSA’s formal structures.
In concluding remarks published at the end of the Social Justice and Nation Building report, which was made public on Wednesday, Ntsebeza says the permanent office would provide a platform where “players, coaches, cricket administrators and other stakeholders can raise concerns and resolve disputes relating to, inter alia, gender and race discrimination.” A permanent office would have to be funded and resourced by CSA, the report recommended.
The report contained the findings of the SJN, following six months of hearings and the collection of written submissions related to racial discrimination in South African cricket. The SJN project was established last year after a call by Lungi Ngidi for the Proteas to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement, exposed an undercurrent of racism in the local game.
Ntsebeza outlined that the findings in the report, and the inquiry as a whole, was compromised by the lack of time available to the project. Originally slated to last four months, it stretched to six, and the budget, according to CSA, grew from R5-million to over R7.5-million.
While praising CSA for running the project, the Ombudsman points out that there is cause for concern when reading through many of the submissions, made by those Ntsebeza terms “victims.”
“It would be irresponsible for Cricket South Africa to ignore the evidence of the ‘victims’ on the basis of rebuttals. We hope that CSA will be well advised to take on board and establish a process that will enquire (into) the grievances and reach appropriate conclusions,” the ombud commented.
In a statement accompanying the report’s release, Cricket SA’s Board stated that it agreed wholeheartedly that the issues facing cricket “are a complex interaction of multiple factors stemming from the history of this country and consequent socio-economic factors that prevail today.”
The Board said it would “engage” more with the report in the new year.