It has been confirmed that while CSA director of cricket Graeme Smith was part of the panel interviewing Karen Smithies, he was not present for the later discussions that have led to a legal case.
On Saturday, it was reported in the Times that Smithies had filed legal papers after becoming aware of the nature of a post-interview recording.
The former England Women’s captain was being interviewed for the role of team manager of the Proteas Women.
According to a report in the Times, the interview panel included Smith as well as Vincent Barnes (CSA high-performance manager), Edward Khoza (CSA acting head of cricket pathways) and Chantel Moon (CSA’s HR consultant and a member of CSA’s exco).
Yet, SACricketmag.com has received exclusive confirmation that while Smith was indeed part of the interview panel, he left the meeting at the same time as Smithies and was not present for the latter part of the discussion.
It’s reported that remarks related to Smithies’ sexuality were made shortly after she had disconnected from the meeting, but reportedly the recording of the video call continued until long after it had finished.
It’s during this period, which Smith is said to have not been present for, that there were allegedly offensive comments made.
A portion of the report in the Times reads as follows: ‘In the panel’s post-interview discussions, the sexuality of Smithies was raised when Moon asked her colleagues whether they were aware that Smithies is “bisexual or lesbian”. Khoza responded by saying that Smithies “is in a life partnership with a previous South African women’s captain”. Moon concluded that this would be an issue as it would add “a different dynamic”. Another of Smith’s colleagues described Smithies as a “Pommy” and said: “It would not be right to employ a white Pom instead of a black African male.”’