Cricket SA on a collision course with Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa
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JOHANNESBURG – Just when it looked like the sport had settled down after months of wrangling, Cricket SA (CSA) is now heading for another showdown with Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa.
Yesterday, CSA’s provincial presidents rejected the interim board the minister appointed two weeks ago.
The Members Council – CSA’s highest decision-making body, comprising the 14 provincial union presidents – said yesterday it would no longer recognise the interim board chaired by retired Constitutional Court Justice Zak Yacoob.
The council, which outlined its unhappiness in a letter to the interim board, cited procedural concerns about the temporary body not being appointed in terms of CSA’s Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI).
More tangibly, however, the council admitted there was a “breakdown in the relationship” between the council and interim body.
The council, through CSA acting president Rihan Richards, cited a number of areas it was unhappy with, including the blurring of the lines regarding the roles and responsibilities of the council and the new interim board.
In addition, Richards pointed out there was a conflict of interest involving one of the interim board members – CSA’s former chief executive, Haroon Lorgat.
Richards refused to provide details about the basis for claiming there was a conflict of interest involving Lorgat when questioned at an online media briefing.
When announcing the board at the end of October, Mthethwa said it would be in place for a minimum of three months.
The interim board held its own meeting yesterday, following which it said that CSA’s council was “acting in bad faith”.
“The current situation is untenable and we are thus dismayed to be in receipt of what we can only describe as an obstructionist, legalistic letter from the Members Council, while we have tried to put structures in place and hold individuals within CSA to account,” the interim board said in a statement.
“We are of the view that the conduct of the Members Council is an attempt to stymie the work of our board.”
In a letter addressed to Richards yesterday afternoon, Yacoob described the Members Council’s stance as “self-serving, opportunistic, misleading and ... very short-sighted”.
Yacoob said the fact that the interim board’s appointment was not formalised by the Members Council in terms of CSA’s MOI was an indication that the provincial presidents wanted to prevent it from doing the work mandated by Mthethwa’s office, which included dealing “with current governance systems, structures and procedures”, and to consider recommendations contained in the Nicholson report and the Fundudzi forensic audit report.
Mthethwa’s office had not responded to requests for comment by deadline.