Pholetsi Moseki, acting chief executive of Cricket South Africa, is steadfast that the Proteas will remain focused on the start of the ICC T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates despite the resumption of the Social Social Justice and Nation building hearings back home.
Temba Bavuma’s Proteas are busy preparing for their opening game against Australia on Saturday in Abu Dhabi, while the SJN hearings, which has been a traumatic period for all involved in South African cricket, re-started on Monday with responses from domestic chief executives to allegations from former black players, coaches and administrators related to racial discrimination that they may have endured.
It is expected that Dr. Jacques Faul, the former CSA chief executive, and David Becker, a lawyer representative for Director of Cricket Graeme Smith, will provide testimonies at the hearings over the coming weeks too.
Proteas’ Men’s coach Mark Boucher has already submitted his written submission wherein the 14-page document he offered up a "sincere apology for any real and perceived inappropriate behaviour by me".
Ombudsman, Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, is also expected to over the course of the next month read submissions from former national captains Smith and AB de Villiers.
All these happenings could have a major impact on the Proteas in the UAE, but Moseki claimed that for the sake of the independence of the hearings it has to continue.
“It is obviously something we are worried about and we have been engaging with the players. It was always very important for CSA for the SJN process to be completely independent. We never want it to be assumed that we are controlling it in the background,” Moseki told IOL Sport.
“So, when the Ombudsman said these are the dates for the hearings, we couldn’t go there and say no we have a World Cup coming up. It has to be completely independent.
“We have obviously been in communication with the players so that they are at least aware that these things are happening and try to avoid it detracting them from the very important assignment that they have.
“We are here at CSA to support them for want of a better description of a national call of duty. We are giving them all the support we can, while this process that is extremely important to CSA and for the country continues. “
Moseki also claimed that CSA seem to be turning the corner after a turbulent two-year period with the return of fans to stadiums on Tuesday for the CSA T20 Knockout competition in Kimberley, while the steady stream of new sponsorships the provincial unions have managed ahead of the new season has encouraged him.
“We have been through massive challenges and we need to take the learnings from there. We can never go back there,” Moseki said.
“But I think the mood is much better. If you look at the affiliates, they have all been announcing partnerships. At least corporations are now willing to engage with people from cricket unlike last year.
“The mood is definitely changing. People are willing to listen to us and consider proposals very seriously unlike a year ago. I really believe we are on the other side. I know people might not believe it, but I do believe it. We know it will take a lot. We have to walk the talk. It is something we are basically committed to. It has been exciting to see how affiliates receive the backing that they have.”