Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent
Enoch Nkwe's resignation as South Africa's assistant coach and concerns about the functioning and culture of the national team "could not have come at a worse time, according to Cricket South Africa's (CSA) acting CEO Pholetsi Moseki. However, he insists there will be no knee-jerk reaction to Nkwe's claims.
CSA intend to hold further discussions with the national team management, dependent on the team's calendar, to ascertain the seriousness of Nkwe's grievances and determine if any other further action needs to be taken.
"The biggest challenge is the timing of this because the last thing we want is to distract the team's preparation for the T20 World Cup," Moseki told ESPNcricinfo. "But at the same time we want to get to the bottom of this. We can't sweep it under the carpet."
The best time to hold discussions with the team management will be recommended by CSA's board."All parties involved in the national team will need to be interviewed and we want to give them an opportunity to respond to any of Nkwe's concerns," Moseki said. "We need to know how the team is functioning and if there are any issues."
South Africa are currently in Sri Lanka for three ODIs and three T20Is before some squad members head to the UAE for the resumption of the IPL. The rest will return home to play in a domestic tournament in the lead up to the T20 World Cup. After that, South Africa are due to return home for a busy summer with incoming tours from India and Bangladesh and a visit to New Zealand on the FTP.
That may make the IPL window the best opening for CSA to attend to the national team. However, that could impact World Cup preparations. ESPNcricinfo understands that CSA are particularly interested in having discussions with head coach Mark Boucher.
In his submission to the Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) Project, Boucher profusely apologised for his role in racial and discriminatory conduct as a player. They want to have a discussion with him also because it is understood that among Nkwe's main reasons for standing down was his working relationship with Boucher.
Several sources have confirmed that the pair, who worked together since Boucher's appointment in December 2019, were incompatible. According to insiders, Boucher's coaching style meant Nkwe was unable to assert himself as much as he may have wanted to, but Nkwe also sought less of a day-to-day role at training grounds and more opportunity to have strategic input.
Further, Nkwe has had some personal matters to deal with in the last few months which also prompted him to resign. "We want to take this matter forward and we need to be cognisant of everything that is going on," Moseki said. There is a lot happening at the moment."
CSA's board is also in the process of appointing a permanent CEO, and Moseki would not comment on whether he has applied for the job. They are also awaiting the SJN report, which was due on September 30. However, after extensions were granted to respondents and hearings due to resume on September 6, the report may be delayed. Moseki expects the ombudsman, Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, to give the board a progress update soon.