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CSA and Smith to proceed with arbitration on March 7

Both the board and Smith will be legally represented, and the findings of the arbitrators will be made public

Graeme Smith appears pleased with proceedings at the Dimension Data Pro-Am golf tournament, George, February 11, 2022

The Social Justice and Nation-Building hearings had found that Graeme Smith engaged in discrimination based on race  •  Getty Images

The "tentative findings" made by the Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) report about CSA's director of cricket, former South Africa captain Graeme Smith, will be the subject of the board's "agreed formal arbitration proceedings" from March 7, the board said in a statement on Friday.
It had emerged on December 20 last year that CSA would launch a formal inquiry into the conduct of Smith and national men's head coach Mark Boucher after reviewing the contents of the SJN report.
The SJN report, which was made public in December, found that Smith, Boucher and former international AB de Villiers, among others, had engaged in conduct that was prejudicial and discriminatory on the basis of race. However, the ombudsman, Dumisa Ntsebeza, was unable to make definite findings and recommended a further process be undertaken, which CSA will now embark on.
Both the board and Smith will be legally represented, and the findings of the arbitrators will be made public, CSA said. David Becker, Smith's attorney, said, "Graeme and his advisors have consistently voiced material concerns with the SJN process, in particular the "tentative findings" made against him.
"He looks forward to demonstrating through this impartial process that these findings are without merit."
Lawson Naidoo, chair of the CSA board, said, "The use of formal arbitration proceedings to deal with these issues is in keeping with CSA's commitment to deal with the SJN issues in a manner that treats them with utmost seriousness but also ensures fairness, due process and finality,".
The proceedings will take place before advocates Ngwako Maenetje SC and Michael Bishop, who have been jointly appointed by the parties.
Smith and Boucher are not the only figures who will be investigated, but are the most high-profile, as CSA looks into all areas of its operation.
More recently, in February this year, it was understood that CSA was unlikely to take action on the manner in which Smith and Boucher were appointed, despite the SJN report citing irregularities in their hiring. Speaking to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Sports, Arts and Culture, Naidoo had explained that because Smith and Boucher's appointments were rubber-stamped by the previous board, no further investigation would be undertaken.
Boucher will, however, still face a disciplinary hearing in May over charges of "gross misconduct".