Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) transformation ombudsman Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza has called on players‚ coaches and administrators – past and present – who were denied opportunities to prosper due to discrimination to make submissions as time is running out.
Ntsebeza said anyone who wants to make submissions does not necessarily need a lawyer or a sophisticated presentation and can even write their inputs on a piece of paper with a pen and submit to him.
“This is not a legal process‚ it may have legal implications but people must feel free‚” Ntsebeza said in a wide-ranging interview over his transformation project.
“This process must be understood to be a people’s process where people can even make their complaints in point form on a piece of paper. I am here 24/7.
“My doors are always open and my phones are always on. You don’t have to be sophisticated. It does not have to be on an affidavit.
“You can do a simple statement in a point form.
“Once the statements come‚ as a trained lawyer‚ I will get a better understanding and say ‘no I now understand that there is much more to this statement’.”
Ntsebeza was officially unveiled as the transformation ombudsman early this month and will start sifting through submissions from Monday.
Ntsebeza was appointed for a period of six months but told TimesLIVE that two years and or more is the likely timeframe sufficient to fulfil his mandate.
The transformation project‚ dubbed Social Justice and Nation (SJN) movement‚ the first of its kind in South African sports‚ is the brainchild of former CSA independent director Dr Eugenia Kula-Ameyaw.
The SJN project is aimed at investigating racial prejudice against players‚ coaches and administrators‚ past and present‚ since CSA’s inception 30 years ago.
Ntsebeza said Kula-Ameyaw is one of the many people who will be hearing from him for consultations to set the scene with their views on the transformation landscape in cricket before the hearings commence.
“We are hitting the road running here‚” said Ntsebeza.
“Typically who are those people? I would like to think that former ministers and the current minister of sport would be a good place to start at.
“We have got ministers who are also ambassadors like Ngconde Balfour‚ we have got ministers like [former Minister Fikile] Mbalula.
“We have got the current minister Nathi Mthethwa. He has a view. He has a perspective. He has a general idea as to where he wants cricket to be at.
“I would like to hear presidents of the various structures in cricket throughout the country.
“I would like to hear [Sascoc president] Barry Hendricks. I would like to hear from Raymond White. I would to hear [former CSA independent director] Norman Arendse.
“I would like to hear Dr Kula-Ameyaw. I would like to hear the chief executives. like [former CSA CEO] Ali Bacher. I would like to hear [former CSA acting CEO Jacques Faul.
“These are people who have contributed to cricket.
“I’d like to hear Haroon Lorgat. Gary Kirsten‚ Enoch Nkwe‚ Mark Boucher‚ these are voices in the past and these are voices in the present.
“These in my view will contribute towards what we want to see happening as I understand my brief.
“This is a serious matter for many people who were disappointed by the treatment that they got in the past and who may be disappointed even now.”
The submissions must be made before the end of April but Ntsebeza said he is pushing for an extension of another week.
“Come the end of April‚ I feel we can stretch it for another week up to May 7.
“You know what human beings are like‚” said Ntsebeza.
“People will not come to make submissions now and then on the last day they will flock here and say they want to be inside.
“I rely on people in the media like you to convey to the people to come forward to say this is the time. Ntsebeza is inviting you.”