Proteas captain Temba Bavuma has revealed that head coach Mark Boucher addressed the team over the damaging testimony against him at Cricket South Africa’s Social Justice and Nation Building (SJN) hearings.
During the SJN hearings last month, former Proteas spin bowler Paul Adams described several instances of racial discrimination, including being nicknamed “brown sh**” by his teammates, across his playing career.
He named Boucher as one of those who used the slur.
Rapport reported this past Sunday that Boucher’s lawyers handed in two sworn affidavits to the transformation ombudsman of SJN, Dumisa Ntsebeza, a fortnight ago, in reaction to allegations that he was one of the people who racially discriminated against Adams.
Proteas skipper Bavuma had to field several questions about the issue during a media conference on Monday, but was open in his answers.
“We would be lying if we said this didn’t have an impact on us,” Bavuma said. “It’s publicly known that members of the team have been named in the SJN testimonies,” he said.
“Mark has addressed us as a team, speaking up specifically on the accusations against him. He provided clarity and context. It was really about keeping the guys in his confidence and providing a form of comfort.”
The Proteas are set to travel to Sri Lanka for a three-match ODI series, which gets under way on Thursday, 2 September.
Over the past year, a plethora of disruptions have hit the Proteas and while the team’s mantra has become about controlling the controllables, Bavuma admitted they have accepted that there are certain issues that are simply out of their hands.
“We try to control anything in our own immediate circle,” he said.
“These type of matters [the SJN allegations] though do come into the team and for us it’s important that we deal with it internally, too, ask whatever hard questions we need to ask of each other to make sure that we can keep growing.”
Bavuma added that a majority of the Proteas squad players have accepted the necessity of the SJN.
“A large majority of the guys welcome the initiative of the SJN and understand it’s necessity in terms of allowing guys, past and current, to speak about their experiences in the past, to learn from those mistakes and help us pave the way forward,” Bavuma said.
“As players now, in this era, we have an opportunity to shape the environment in the way we like so that we don’t look down the line and say we could’ve done things differently. Most of the guys are following the SJN with passion.”
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