SJN hearings -Not my job to find Mark Boucher guilty or not guilty

Paul Adams, the former South African wristspinner, has confirmed that he will not testify against former team-mate Mark Boucher, in his upcoming CSA disciplinary hearing between May 16 to 20. Boucher, the current head coach of the South African national team, is slated to appear before senior counsel advocate Terry Motau, where he faces charges of gross misconduct for his handling of racial issues, both as a player and as a coach.
Adams, at CSA’s Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) hearings last year, had alleged multiple instances of racial discrimination in the South African side in the late 1990s and early 2000s, which included being nicknamed “brown s***” by his team-mates. Adams had at the time identified Boucher as one of the players who would use the phrase, mostly in a team song, with the South African coach later apologising for his behaviour.
Boucher was heavily criticised in the SJN hearings and charged with “serious misconduct” by CSA, who will argue for his dismissal in the upcoming hearings.

However, Adams insists he had “no intention to single out Boucher” at the SJN hearings and does not want that to be the focus of attention during the hearing.

“In my testimony, I said that during my time in the national team, there was a culture within that environment, that felt it was fine for a derogatory nickname given to me, to be sung during fines meetings in the changing room, by my fellow team-mates,” Adams was quoted in a statement released on his social media platforms.

“I indicated, upon reflection and after discussing with my wife (my girlfriend at the time) that I felt humiliated by the song. Not at any stage did I mention any player’s name who may have initiated the song.

“The only time I confirmed a name, was when the panel asked if I addressed Mark Boucher personally regarding the nickname, and I replied that he was part of a broader group that sang the song and that I never addressed the matter within the team environment at the time. Not at any stage did I go in there with the intention to single Mark Boucher out.”

Adams, who played 45 Tests and 24 ODIs for South Africa between 1995 to 2004, said that it was not his job to find out whether Boucher was guilty or not and that he shared his story to help CSA find a way to “make cricket a winning and binding game for all”.

“I was young and naïve at the time, trying to fit in and represent my country as best I could,” Adams said.

“It is not my job or desire to find Mark Boucher guilty or not guilty and to be cross-examined and turned into the main focus of attention. Therefore I will not be testifying at Mark Boucher’s upcoming disciplinary hearing.

“I spoke my truth of what happened to me as a young player, as per the process adopted by CSA on a serious issue in the game. The feelings articulated by myself and three dozen other senior players and coaches last year will hopefully help CSA find a new way in making cricket a winning and binding game for all. Again, my wish is that the same environment that existed when we played, must never repeat itself. If changes are made and situations such as these are learnt from, then my purpose of telling my story at the SJN has been achieved.”

“It is not my job or desire to find Mark Boucher guilty or not guilty and to be cross-examined and turned into the main focus of attention.”

Paul Adams

The SJN commission’s final report, in December last year, had concluded that CSA had in the past unfairly discriminated against players on the basis of race while mentioning that former captain and CSA director of cricket, Graeme Smith, Boucher and former national captain, AB de Villiers had all engaged in prejudicial behavior.

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