South African head coach Mark Boucher issued a statement on Monday apologizing for “any offensive behavior, real or perceived” brought to light during the hearings on racism in South African cricket.
The longtime former Test Counter Guardian has released a 14-page affidavit that he submitted to Social Justice and Nationbuilding Ombudsman Lawyer Dumisa Ntsebeza.
Boucher said his affidavit was a general response to issues with behavior during his playing days raised by black cricketers during the hearings.
He said he would prefer to deal “one-on-one” with specific allegations from former teammates he had offended.
But he explained in detail the allegations that he and other white players offensively adapted the lyrics of a Boney M song “Brown Girl in the Ring” and sang it to spin bowler Paul Adams at the team fine meetings.
Boucher said he was a naive young man when he was first selected for South Africa at the age of 20 in 1997, six years after the country’s return to international cricket after 21 years. of isolation because of apartheid.
Boucher said he now realizes the players, coaches and management are naïve.
“To my knowledge, there has been no briefing or discussion by Cricket South Africa on how we are dealing with the legacy of apartheid,” he said, “and how we ensure that there is equality, respect, empathy and inclusiveness in the team. “
Boucher said nothing he said or did was motivated by malice or racism.
He said the current South African team was “now in an entirely different space” after “meaningful workshops and discussions on how to create an atmosphere of inclusion and a culture of respect”.
Boucher said there had been “an implicit innuendo” in some reports and social media posts that he was racist. He said the allegations traumatized him and his family.
Boucher said that for much of his playing career he was responsible for the fine meetings that typically occur after a series victory. They were “light-hearted with lots of laughs, chants and teammates’ ribs.”
He said he wasn’t sure who started Boney M’s song insulting Adams, but admitted that what was considered at the time to be a playful joke was “totally inappropriate.”
Earlier Monday, South Africa’s limited overs captain Temba Bavuma told a press conference ahead of a tour of Sri Lanka that Boucher had spoken to players about the allegations against him and provided them with “clarity and context. “.
Bavuma, the country’s first black African captain, said the SJN hearings had an impact on the team.
He said most of the players were supportive of the hearings and hoped that the mistakes of the past would allow the current squad “to be able to learn from these experiences and mistakes from some people who can help us pave the way forward. “.
Bowling coach Charl Langeveldt and fast pitcher Junior Dala were belatedly removed from the touring squad due to ‘Covid protocols’. Dala was replaced by fellow fast bowler Lutho Sipamla.
© 2021 AFP