Cape Town: Cricket South Africa (CSA) have withdrawn disciplinary charges against national team head coach Mark Boucher after two key witnesses declined to testify in upcoming hearings.
Boucher had been charged with gross misconduct in “tentative findings” by CSA’s Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) hearings that were conducted last year.
He had been accused of racism by former teammate Paul Adams and of sidelining his former assistant coach Enoch Nkwe. He denied both allegations but apologised “unreservedly for any offensive conduct, real or perceived”.
Both Adams and Nkwe declined to testify at Boucher’s hearing, which was due to start on May 16.
Former spinner Adams, who played for South Africa between 1995 and 2004, last year alleged he was subjected to racial discrimination and name-calling during his time with the national team.
However, he said his SJN testimony was a criticism of team culture at the time and not aimed at individual players.
Nkwe also confirmed he would not take part, saying “whatever happens in that process, I hope the outcome will be the one that’s best for the game”.
CSA said their lawyers had engaged with various other potential witnesses and concluded that the none of the charges were sustainable.
Boucher, who has a contract with CSA until the end of the 2023 Cricket World Cup in October and will remain in his role, said the allegations were “unjustified” and had caused him “considerable hurt and anguish”.
“The last few months have been extremely difficult to endure for me and my family,” he was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “I am glad that the process has finally come to an end and that CSA has accepted that the charges against me are unsustainable.
“I look forward to continuing to focus on my job and to taking the team to even greater heights.”
Former CSA Director of Cricket Graeme Smith was last month cleared of racism charges by an independent arbitration process following accusations that had also arisen from the SJN hearings.