CSA in crisis ... Nathi Mthethwa may step in after Members Council go back on their word
JOHANNESBURG - Cricket South Africa was thrown into further crisis on Saturday when its Members Council - the most powerful decision making body in the organisation - failed to get the requisite majority to allow a constitutional change that would lead to a new administrative structure.
At a special general meeting, on Saturday, the 14-person member council, made up of the provincial presidents, didn’t agree by a sufficient majority to pass the necessary amendments to its Memorandum of Incorporation.
That decision following a secret vote, came despite the Council having agreed with Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa and the Interim Board he appointed last year, that the changes could be made.
Ostensibly those changes relate to the composition of the board of directors, with changes set to ensure that the majority of the Board would be made up of independent directors, while the chairman would also come from the ranks of the independents.
The meeting ended abruptly after the votes were announced, with the Interim Board immediately going into a meeting with Mthethwa.
A majority of 75% of the Members Council needed to vote in favour of amending the MoI, but only 43% - six members did, five voted against and extraordinarily, given the importance of what was being decided, there were three presidents who abstained
A week ago, the Members Council had informed Mthethwa that it had agreed to make the necessary changes. Mthethwa had even congratulated CSA, a sentiment he repeated on Saturday before voting had taken place.
The meeting itself started nearly 30 minutes late, with Donovan May, the president of Eastern Province cricket - who is understood to be one of the leaders of the group on the Council that wants to retain the status quo - saying the meeting couldn’t proceed until a full quorum was present.
The acting president of Northern Cape cricket Gibson Molale was late to arrive at the virtual meeting.
Then following speeches by Mthethwa and Stavros Nicaloau, the chairman of the Interim Board, the president of the SA Sports Commission and Olympic Committee, Barry Hendricks was allowed to read a letter - despite it having earlier been stated that he was only there as an observer - in which he called on CSA to first inform Sascoc before any changes to the MoI could be made.
Hendricks was then admonished by Mthethwa, who said that Sascoc had had its opportunity to step in at CSA and failed to take it and that it was now too late. “This is extremely abnormal. Sascoc failed to deal with this,” Mthethwa said. “Under normal circumstances this thing should have been dealt with by Sascoc. But this is now where we are with this matter and we have gone a long way, we have done everything, we cannot go back now.”
Before the vote took place, May asked that it be kept a secret, getting support from Daniel Govender (KZN), John Mogodi (Limpopo), Gibson Molale (NC) and Simphiwe Ndzundzu (Border).
After the meeting wrapped up, the Interim Board met with Mthethwa, to go over what had taken place. Mthethwa will take a couple of days to apply his mind to the outcome of Saturday’s meeting with an announcement expected from his office early next week.
Mthethwa, in terms of the powers at his disposal - through the National Sports and Recreation Act of 1998 - he can remove recognition from Cricket SA as the main authority that runs the sport in this country, taking away its right to award national colours.
Rihan Richards, the chairman of the Members Council said he was unsure how the process would unfold following the meeting.