Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza has been appointed as the ombudsman of Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) Cricket for Social Justice and Nation Building (SJN) project that was formally launched at Olympic House, SASCOC.
Ntsebeza, who will be the face of the Office of the Transformation Ombudsman, will be tasked with managing an independent complaints system that will look at the healing, restoration and uniting process of cricket players, fans, and the nation, starting with the former players.
Amongst his other tasks will be to convene a National SJN Imbizo and provide assurance regarding the extent to which transformation programmes are impactful on society. Further responsibilities will include setting up The Restoration Fund – to deal with opportunity cost due to discrimination – and the implementation of the Diversity, Belonging and Inclusivity (DIBS) program.
Speaking at the formal launch, which was held with only 50 attendees present in line with COVID-19 restrictions, CSA Independent Director and Transformation Chair, Dr Eugenia Kula-Ameyaw, said the SJN project was a key step towards rectifying some of the wrongs of the past.
"This is not only significant for cricket, but for the entire nation,"she said. "It is a national project and we hope it will help those who have been hurt due to discrimination heal quicker. What this means to all of us, to those affected, is that CSA is heading in the right direction. It’s not enough just to talk, but action is required and I think this is a step in that direction.
"It is also a sign that shows what may have been conceived as impossible can be considered as doable. I want to believe that as the cricket community we have the ability to find common ground and deal with the pains of the past."
Ntsebeza is a renowned and highly sought-after public speaker both locally and internationally. An attorney, advocate and acting judge, amongst other things, he is a former political prisoner, who was imprisoned in 1976.
The Advocate, whose SJN ombudsman office will be based at Olympic House in Houghton, served as a commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1995. He was appointed chancellor of the University of Fort Hare in January 2017.