Cricket SA apologises to Momentum for board member’s ’unfortunate and unwarranted’ tweets
Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) administration descended into a farce yesterday, issuing an apology to one of its primary sponsors for what the organisation described as “unfortunate and unwarranted tweets” by one of its independent directors.
JOHANNESBURG - Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) administration descended into a farce yesterday, issuing an apology to one of its primary sponsors for what the organisation described as “unfortunate and unwarranted tweets” by one of its independent directors.
Months of drama and controversy has left the federation in crisis, to which has been added the admonishment of independent director, Eugenia Kula-Ameyaw, who attacked Momentum in tweets published on Tuesday night and yesterday morning.
Kula-Ameyaw called Momentum’s decision not to renew part of its sponsorship with CSA “irrational” in a tweet responding to an interview the financial services’ company’s head of sponsorship, Carel Bosman, did with eNCA on Tuesday.
Momentum had stated earlier Tuesday it was ending it’s sponsorship of One-Day cricket along with other entities it held with CSA, but crucially, would continue to support the SA Women’s side until 2023.
In addition to describing Momentum’s decision as “irrational,” Kula-Ameyaw also implied that the company’s BBBEE standing was not up to scratch. “Momentum forgets that we invest hundreds of millions in Momentum in our SOE investments and pension funds,” Kula-Ameyaw tweeted. The tweet was later deleted.
Asked for comment, Bosman said: “We’re not exactly sure what Dr Kula-Ameyaw meant by the comment, since we have been working really hard to transform as a company. We achieved Level 1 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) status two years ago, and have retained this status.
“In spite of the comment, we are not reconsidering our relationship with CSA. We look forward to continuing our support of the Momentum Proteas national women’s team on their journey to success,” Bosman added.
Yesterday morning, responding to another tweet, Kula-Ameyaw wrote that Momentum’s support of women’s cricket was not about transformation “but marketing”.
CSA in a statement yesterday afternoon, issued a stinging rebuke of Kula-Ameyaw who was put on the Board earlier this year following the resignations late last year of three directors.
“CSA wishes to reiterate that Dr Eugenia Kula-Ameyaw did not act in her professional position as a non-executive board member of CSA,” said Beresford Williams, the organisation’s acting president.
“While we respect the personal views of all South Africans, CSA wishes to distance itself from the articulations made by Dr Kula-Ameyaw on Twitter. We further wish to reiterate that CSA does not ascribe to the views expressed regarding Momentum and we sincerely value the benefits Momentum and all our sponsors bring in making cricket accessible and inclusive for all South Africans,” Williams said.
CSA added that “it was taking this matter very seriously,” with the organisation’s Members Council - its highest decision making body, comprising all the provincial presidents - referring it to CSA’s Social and Ethics Committee.
In a sign of how farcical matters have become at CSA, Kula-Ameyaw, serves on that committee. Cricket SA’s Code of Ethics makes clear that she must recuse herself while that committee deliberates on the matter.