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South Africa drop racism charges against coach Boucher after testimony withdrawn

South Africa head coach Mark Boucher had been charged with gross misconduct, but those charges have now been dropped after Paul Adams and Enoch Nkwe declined to testify at his disciplinary hearing

Former South Africa international and current head coach Mark Boucher

Cricket South Africa has withdrawn disciplinary charges against head coach Mark Boucher less than a week before his hearing was set to start.

Boucher was formally charged with gross misconduct back in January, following the Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) report. The 45-year-old was facing three disciplinary charges relating to his time as both a player and a coach.

He had been accused by former South Africa spinner Paul Adams of referring to him as “brown s***” and singing a song which also included the slur. In response, Boucher said he “deeply regrets and apologises for the part I played in joining in with my team-mates in singing offensive songs or using offensive nicknames.”

Boucher was also accused of sidelining former assistant coach Enoch Nkwe, who resigned last year after raising “concerns about the functioning and culture of the team environment.” His charge sheet also stated that “when dealing with the Black Lives Matter issue and the question of ‘taking the knee’, you allegedly dealt with the white players’ concerns and requested that the team manager (who is black) deal with the black players’ concerns.”

However, both Adams and Nkwe have said they do not wish to testify against Boucher at the hearing and Cricket South Africa have announced they have “formally and unreservedly withdrawn all of the charges,” with Boucher set to remain as head coach.

In a statement, they said: “CSA concluded that there was no basis to sustain any of the charges against Mr Boucher. CSA has therefore withdrawn the charges and will contribute towards his legal costs.

“CSA and Mr Boucher have discussed the way forward and committed themselves to an open dialogue and engagement in order to promote the best interests of South African cricket so as to achieve CSA’s strategic goals of access, inclusivity and excellence.”

The organisation’s chair Lawson Naidoo said: “CSA has at all times been committed to dealing with the SJN issues in a manner that treats them with utmost seriousness but also ensures fairness, due process and finality.

“The decision to withdraw the charges brings about finality on these issues for CSA and Mark and allows the focus to return to the cricket field – where we trust that Mark and the Proteas will go from strength to strength.”

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