Is promoting independents really a ‘tarnished’ process?

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Stuart Hess

This morning’s Cricket South Africa Board meeting is among the most important in that bloated body’s history as it seeks to strike a balance between the findings of Sascoc and the Ministry of Sport.

An independent arbitrator, appointed by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, this week found that CSA’s grounds for excluding Norman Arendse as a candidate for the independent portion of a new Board was illegitimate.

In addition the Deputy Minister of Sports and Recreation, Gert Oosthuizen, is expected to provide a report on his attempts at mediation in a dispute that arose between CSA and Sascoc over the structure of the new board.

Sascoc were extremely unhappy about the high number – five – of independents on the proposed board. When Arendse approached the Olympic body about the arbitration he also highlighted a racial element, saying he’d been blocked from being the new chairman because he was coloured.

The five independents named by CSA last month were: Louis van Zeuner, who was to be chairman, Dawn Mkhobo, Geoff Whyte, Vusi Pikoli and Mohammed Iqbal Khan.

Sascoc reiterated this week that they were unhappy with five independents on the proposed 11-member CSA Board, sticking to the line that “sport should be run by sports people”.

The proposed independent quota stemmed from recommendations contained in Judge Chris Nicholson’s report in which he stated that CSA should look to have nine independents on an 11-member board.

Sascoc’s chief executive, Tubby Reddy, said the findings by the arbitrator indicated that the CSA process in choosing the independents was “tarnished”.

Cricket SA’s stand-in president Willie Basson said the Board would have to weigh up the Sascoc-appointed arbitrator’s findings with those of the Deputy Minister’s mediation before, once again, mapping a path forward.

“There will be independents on the board, but there will be things flowing from Mr Oosthuizen’s report and from the arbitrator’s findings that we will have to take forward,” Basson explained.

Cricket SA and Sascoc stated this week that the arbitrator’s findings don’t automatically mean Arendse will become a member of the new board, just that in order to consider him CSA must pay no regard to his previous position as president and his honorary membership of the Western Province Cricket Association.

“There will be a number of different options for the Board to discuss. Having Mr Arendse serve on the new Board is just one of them.

“We will be conducting analysis of all the different options,” said Basson.

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