MINISTERIAL APPOINTMENT SEES UFH CHANCELLOR DRIVING TRANSFORMATION, DIVERSITY AND BELONGING IN SA CRICKET

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Alice, Eastern Cape, 9 April 2021 – The University of Fort Hare’s Chancellor Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza SC will begin a six-month tenure as interim transformation ombudsman at Cricket SA (CSA) next month,  where he is expected to shape transformation, diversity and belonging in South African cricket, the University announced today.

The ombudsman's duties will include setting up a restoration fund, convening a national Imbizo to provide assurances about ongoing transformation at Cricket SA, and implementing programmes that unlock greater levels of diversity, belonging and inclusivity in cricket. 

Advocate Ntsebeza will also investigate how sportswomen can be fast-tracked into mainstream cricket.

In October last year, Advocate Ntsebeza was appointed by  Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture as part of a social and nation-building project to address discrimination of players, coaches and administrators at Cricket SA on the grounds of race and gender.

“Whilst remaining with us as our Chancellor, the University of Fort Hare community of staff, alumni and students are extending their best wishes to Advocate Ntsebeza.   South Africans want to see themselves genuinely valued and reflected in cricket without any discrimination.  This project will be driven by one of South Africa’s leading authorities in human rights,” said University of Fort Hare Vice-Chancellor Professor Sakhela Buhlungu.

“The topic of diversity, belonging and inclusivity in national sports, remains an important project for public discourse and debate, especially for the purposes of restorative justice.  It is also required to ensure that all South Africans feel more accepted, valued and welcomed in cricket”.

“But it should also be remembered that the University is already playing a catalytical role in the transformation of cricket in the Eastern Cape through our Cricket Academy,” said Professor Buhlungu.

 

Mr Greg Hayes, a Cricket SA development consultant in the Eastern Cape involved with the Cricket Academy at the University of Fort Hare said: “The Cricket Academy, which is a joint venture programme between the University of Fort Hare, Border Cricket and Cricket SA, began in 2009.  It has delivered stellar results in fast-tracking, growing and developing youth starting at schools in rural parts of Eastern Cape province.  The Academy provides an all-encompassing programme to create professional sports career cricket players.”

Hayes said the Academy’s programme is a holistic initiative focusing on readying players with necessary cricket skills while instilling other essential life and leadership skills into players and students of the University.

“To put the success of the programme into perspective, we already have strong female representation in our Academy in a sport that is traditionally male-orientated.  Recently, 22% of crickets enrolled at  the Academy and studying at the University of Fort Hare were female.”

“Another important indicator of the success of the programme is that during the 2018/19 Africa Cup, a semi-professional event which is just a step before professional cricket, 18 cricketers from Cricket Academy at Fort Hare played in 10 out of 14 teams that participated,” said Hayes.

Professor Buhlungu said Advocate Ntsebeza’s tenure as transformation ombudsman was also a critical decolonization project for South African sport.  

He represented a number of political prisoners throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. In 1995 he was appointed one of the Commissioners in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). He is a founder of the South African National Association of Democratic Lawyers and served as its President. He also served as president of South Africa's Black Lawyers Association.  

In 2000, Advocate Ntsebeza was called to the Bar in Cape Town, where he took Silk in 2005, becoming the first African to be conferred Silk status in the history of the Cape Bar. He has practised in the Johannesburg Bar since 2008. He has a passion for Constitutional and Administrative Law, Labour Law, Mining Law and Land Law. Adv Ntsebeza is a member of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), where he has acted as the commission's spokesperson. He has also sat as a judge in various divisions of the High Court of South Africa - in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape (Mthatha), Gauteng, and in all the Labour Courts.  

Since October 2012 Advocate Ntsebeza has represented before the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, 36 families of striking miners who were killed by the police at Marikana in August 2012.

Two months ago (February 2021), Advocate Ntsebeza was appointed as a judge of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights.

He was appointed Chancellor of the University of Fort Hare for a five-year term which commenced in 2017.