Cricket South Africa (CSA) was found to have attempted to ‘trap’ its former director of cricket Graeme Smith during their arbitration hearing in the matter involving Mark Boucher's appointment, which cost them the case.

 Independent arbitrators Advocate Ngwako Maenetje SC and Advocate Michael Bishop cleared Smith on all four charges of racial discrimination, which arose following the CSA's Social Justice and Nation-building (SJN) project findings.

In his ‘tentative findings’, SJN Ombudsman Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza SC found that Smith ‘unfairly discriminated on the basis of race against Enoch Nkwe’ when appointing Boucher as Proteas men's head coach in December 2019.

News24 says details have since emerged that, after initially pleading that Smith directly discriminated against Nkwe on the basis of race by picking Boucher, CSA tried to ‘trap’ Smith by trying to use his reasons for appointing Boucher against him.

Smith testified that the reason he appointed Boucher ahead of Nkwe was that ‘Nkwe lacked international experience and that the assistant coach position would allow him to gain that experience’.

After failing to prove direct racial discrimination against Smith, CSA turned their argument around to say that by using ‘international experience’ as a barometer for the Proteas head coach position, Smith was discriminatory because black people were in the past denied those international playing opportunities due to race. 

CSA – represented by Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi SC – was found to have tried to ‘trap’ Smith by ‘springing’ their change of argument on him.

‘CSA accepts Smith's claim that he acted solely because of Boucher's international playing experience and says that (allegedly) non-racial reason constitutes racial discrimination. CSA may be right, but it was required to plead that case, not to wait for Smith to walk into a trap and then spring it,’ said the arbitrators.

Full News24 report