Social Justice and Nation-Building hearings give CSA opportunity to address past failures
Share this article:
CAPE TOWN – New Cricket South Africa board chairman Lawson Naidoo believes the current Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) hearings that began on Monday "provides a key reset moment for CSA and cricket in general and an opportunity to address the past failures."
The hearings, which were initially due to be held last May, will focus on racial discrimination that has taken place in the game in South Africa with 58 submissions set to heard. The SJN will run until July 23, with all hearings being made public via the YouTube social media channel.
"CSA fully supports the SJN initiative. We regard it as one of the most important and significant projects to be undertaken in the 30 years of our existence as a unified cricket body," Naidoo said on Monday. "The start of these hearing provides a key reset moment for CSA and cricket in general, an opportunity to address the past failures."
SJN ombudsman Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, who opened the proceedings, confirmed that he had received 23 submissions from present and ex-players, 11 from administrators and officials, and 24 from cricket unions and others.
Ntsebeza emphatically stated the SJN hearings are "not a criminal enquiry", although he will be allowed to cross-examine at his own discretion.
"The SJN proceedings are not a criminal enquiry and as a result, I will use the civil standard of proof in making my findings. I will make findings based on a balance of probabilities, provided that a factual dispute cannot be resolved without cross-examination.
"I may either allow cross-examination, limited cross-examination, or record the factual dispute without resolving it," said the 71-year-old, who also quoted renowned American novelist playwright, essayist, poet, and activist James Baldwin.
"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it's faced. This speaks to the purpose the SJN Project."
Naidoo stated Cricket SA will not comment on the proceedings as it unfolds with the Board only serving as "good listeners" and will wait until the ombudsman Ntsebeza submits his report in September.
No former players will be heard this week with former Western Province CEO Andre Odendaal, former sports minister Ngconde Balfour and researcher Dr Mary Ann Dove providing the “scene-setters”.