Johannesburg - Cricket SA’s Transformation Ombudsman, Adv. Dumisa Ntsebeza found that Mark Boucher’s explanation for calling former national teammate Paul Adams ‘brown shit,’ lacked sensitivity and understanding of South Africa’s racist history.
The findings were published in the Social Justice and Nation Building report, which was made public on Wednesday. Adams had provided deeply painful testimony when he appeared before the SJN in July, pointing out that he was the victim of a racist song, sung about him by teammates including Boucher.
The current Proteas head coach, who did not appear at the SJN, provided a written submission in which he unreservedly apologised for his actions. However Boucher’s response was strongly criticised in the SJN report.
Addressing the Boucher incident alongside a racist message posted to a WhatsApp group by former South African international Johann Louw, in which Louw had called former SA under-19 coach Lawrence Mahatlane a monkey, in Afrikaans, the Office of the Transformation Ombudsman, states that Boucher and Louw’s responses to Adams display an “alarming and concerning reality that these two gentlemen do not comprehend the South African apartheid/discriminatory and racist history.”
Adams told the SJN during his oral testimony, that Louw had left a message on the WhatsApp group - made up of former Proteas players - stating “Hoe lank gaan hulle daai aap daar hou? (How long are they going to keep that monkey there?)”
The comment followed a defeat by the SA under-19 side at the 2020 World Cup.
Louw stated in a submission to the SJN, that the remark needed to be viewed in the context of the language it was made and was not meant to be derogatory - an explanation which was slammed by the Ombudsman.
Boucher in his response to Adams’ claims, said the comments were made in an environment in which teammates of different racial backgrounds all had nicknames for each other that had racial connotations.
Citing the Penny Sparrow and Vicky Momberg affairs, the Ombud proclaims that Boucher and Louw’s apologies were “ignorant and ill-considered.”
“The fact that Mr Boucher and Mr Louw tried to excuse or give reasons (for) calling their black colleagues such derogatory terms reveals that they have not undergone diversity and transformation training, or where they have, that they (are) apathetic towards diversity and transformation.”