Cricket South Africa have postponed their annual general meeting as they attempt to appease the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) over the structure and make-up of CSA’s new board of directors.
The AGM would have taken place this weekend but former CSA president Norman Arendse lodged a complaint with Sascoc over his absence on the new board, a move which highlighted the other problems Sascoc had with CSA’s structure. Cricket SA last week announced the five “independent” board members which would have formed a new board of directors along with five provincial union presidents who would have been selected at the AGM this weekend.
However, while Sascoc are in the process of finding an arbitrator to settle the dispute between Arendse and CSA, they have also come out strongly against the large “independent” presence on the new CSA board.
“Sascoc were never going to accept a ‘5/5’ split and we said that to (CSA) at the first meeting,” Sascoc chief executive Tubby Reddy said yesterday. “Sascoc have a number of concerns with the make-up of the board. We don’t feel there should be the same number of independents as union presidents. The balance must be in favour of sports people. We feel that sport should be run by sport people.”
Reddy did not dismiss the need for an “independent” perspective on CSA’s board, but felt that an independent representation of close to 50 per cent was too much. “Unfortunately in their process there exists a number of loopholes.”
Reddy was also concerned that in the present structure CSA, even amongst their temporary administrators, had too many white faces.
The proposed structure for CSA’s new board was for five “independents”, the five provincial presidents – to provide cricket expertise – and a CEO, which would be selected by the new board. The five independent members are: Louis van Zeuner (outgoing deputy chief executive of Absa) who would be the board’s chairman, prominent businesswoman Dawn Makhobo, the former head of the National Prosecuting Authority Vusi Pikoli, Mohammed Iqbal Khan, the COO of Old Mutual, and marketing executive Geoff Whyte.
Cricket SA’s stand-in president, Dr Willie Basson, defended CSA’s position saying the need for greater independence on the board had arisen following the recommendations of Judge Chris Nicholson’s Inquiry.
Nicholson also recommend-ed an 11-member board, but called for “nine independent non-executives”.
“We need to harmonise our current structure with what Nicholson recommended and to harmonise with what our requirements are as a member of Sascoc,” Basson said yesterday. “We have decided to postpone the AGM while we consider what steps to take.
“When we worked out this new structure, we were conscious to remain as close as possible to Nicholson’s recommendations. The steering committee debated this, and this is how we came to the current structure.”
Nicholson found a series of flaws in CSA’s administrative structure had not only impacted on their ability to run the sport properly but also put too much power in the hands of former chief executive Gerald Majola.
A disciplinary hearing – another of Nicholson’s recommendations – concluded last week that Majola should be dismissed as CEO for illegitimately claiming bonuses totalling R1,4-million when the country hosted the Indian Premier League and the Champions Trophy in 2009.
“While we respect the fact that CSA must decide what parts of Nichsolson’s recommendations to adhere to, it’s important to note they are recommendations, and not every recommendation has to be followed. You must take what works and take out what doesn’t work” said Reddy.
Basson said CSA would seek a speedy resolution to their current troubles and want to hold the AGM before the end of November.
Meanwhile, Sascoc were hoping to identify an arbitrator by tomorrow to hear Arendse’s grievances and to set out the parameters for the hearing by next week.