New Zealander John Plumtree has been dumped by the Sharks Super Rugby franchise.
Plumtree, who led the Sharks to two Currie Cup titles and last year's Super Rugby final against the Chiefs in his five years at the helm, discovered his role was under threat when former Italy and Springbok coach Nick Mallett revealed to media that he had been approached for the job.
"There was contact made with him to see if there was a role he could play, but it was an unnecessary way for Plum to hear the news in the media," Smit told The Mercury.
Smith, who officially begins his new role on July 1, lauded Plumtree's efforts at the Durban franchise but explained that he would be seeking new direction and hoped that Venter's appointment would help to freshen things up.
"It's a difficult decision to get rid of a coach as good as John Plumtree, but it's part of a process of trying to create something fresh and new for both the players and the supporters."