Kepler Wessels cleared of racial allegations
Published: Thursday, November 27, 2003, 2:38 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Wessels suspended for racial slur
Port Elizabeth: Former South African cricket captain Kepler Wessels was cleared of allegations that he made racist remarks about two coloured (mixed race) players, an advocate hearing the case said. Richard Buchanan cleared Wessels, who is currently coach at Eastern Province, because of a lack of evidence. "Eastern Province had not adequately proven its case against Wessels," Buchanan said on Wednesday, after Wessels was accused by a cricket club in the Southeastern coastal city of Port Elizabeth of referring to the two players as "animals". It was claimed that Wessels made the comments at a net practice session in October when he allegedly told Eastern Province player Johan Louw to: "Stop talking nonsense to these two animals, I want you to bowl now," the SAPA news agency reported. The two players felt that the remark was a racist "slur" aimed at them. Wessels was suspended immediately, pending the outcome of the disciplinary hearing, but has protested his innocence throughout. He said the incident never happened and that he had never uttered the words attributed to him. Wessels, who is also coach at English county Northamptonshire, confirmed he has signed a contract extension, keeping him at the county until the end of the 2005 season. The 46-year-old played 40 Tests for Australia and South Africa, scoring 2,788 runs at an average of 41.00 including six centuries.