The Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) committee has accused Cricket South Africa (CSA) and some former players, including Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers, of engaging in racially “prejudicial behavior” against players. Dumisa Ntsebeza, the head of the SJN Commission, accused the CSA administration, former captain and current director Smith, current head coach Mark Boucher, and former batter de Villiers of unfairly discriminating against black players in a 235-page final report.

The claim was refuted by De Villiers, a much-loved figure in South African cricket who recently retired. He tweeted, “I endorse the CSA’s Social Justice and Nation Building approach, which attempts to provide equal chances in cricket. In my cricketing career, though, I only ever offered honest cricketing ideas based on what I believed was best for the team, never on the basis of anyone’s race. That is a fact.”

The research suggests that a permanent ombudsman be appointed to deal with racial and gender-based concerns in South African cricket. The report also suggests that the CSA implement an anonymous grievance policy. After Boucher and former spinner Paul Adams testified that Adams was given a racial nickname by his national team teammates, including the current head coach, the problem was brought to light. Following Boucher’s retirement in 2012, Thami Tsolekile was not selected for the national team, according to the SJN Commission report. The panel’s judgment was “completely illogical” and “showed unmistakable evidence of systemic prejudice,” according to the report.

“In many respects, the CSA, Mr Graeme Smith, and several selectors at the time failed Mr Tsolekile and many black players at the time.”

The charges against de Villiers stem from his treatment of Khaya Zondo while he was a member of South Africa’s ODI squad during their 2015 tour of India. When JP Duminy was injured in the series’ last match, he was not selected in the team. Dean Elgar, a member of the Test squad, took Zondo’s place in that match.

It was done “simply to ensure that a black athlete was not placed in a position that he thought to require higher expertise,” according to the report.

Boucher stated that he was among those who performed a song that featured the racial epithet for which he has already apologised, claiming that white players in South Africa were unprepared for team dynamics.