Smith and co need time to respond to allegations

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Graeme Smith celebrates with Mark Boucher and AB de Villiers
  • Post published:August 30, 2021

The Social Justice and Nation Building (SJN) hearings will resume in September after several parties, including CSA director of cricket Graeme Smith, AB de Villiers and the South African Cricketers’ Association (Saca), were granted an extension to prepare their responses.

According to an ESPN report, those implicated in testimony given between 5 July and 6 August were due to begin replying by 23 August, but ombudsman Dumisa Ntsebeza heard reasons for why they needed more time on Monday.

He agreed to allow parties to respond by 3 September, and the hearings will restart the following week. De Villiers has since submitted a written response.

This comes after Proteas coach Mark Boucher had handed in two sworn affidavits in response to the allegations of racial discrimination levelled against him at the hearings.

De Villiers’ legal counsel, Niel du Preez, said his client had not received formal notification of allegations made against him.

“Notice has to be sufficient in the information contained, but the time that is allowed since the party hasn’t been notified in time of the intended action and therefore may not be able to prepare their case adequately,” Du Preez said.

“None of my clients had received a formal notice. Faul received four emails with annexures that were attached. There isn’t a specific annunciation of what the allegations are, so we can only guess what that entails.”

Meanwhile, Smith’s legal representative, David Becker, said his client needed time to respond the SJN hearing allegations.

“I don’t think any of these proceedings should be rushed. We are dealing with very important matters here. They are very significant – some of the allegations which have been made, and I can talk specifically about the allegations against my client, Mr Smith.

“These are very far-reaching allegations that have been made against him that could and will no doubt affect the rest of his career.

“Anybody who is a respondent should be given a fair opportunity to reply and the ombudsman should be given a suitable period of time to hear these responses and then to write up his report. These allegations are serious and everybody needs to be given a proper opportunity to make submissions and a proper opportunity to reply.”

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