Members Council object to Norman Arendse’s return to CSA as independent director
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JOHANNESBURG - Cricket South Africa will reconvene its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, after the provincial presidents unanimously objected to Norman Arendse’s presence among eight independent directors who are supposed to be appointed to the new Board.
An Independent Nominations Panel, led by Muhammed Seedat, the chairman of the Institute of Directors of SA, was tasked with appointing the eight independent directors who will serve on the new CSA Board.
However at a meeting on Friday night between the panel and the 14 provincial union presidents, who comprise Cricket SA’s Members Council, an objection was raised to Arendse’s presence.
According to Cricket SA’s new president, Rihan Richards, there were two specific concerns.
“We wanted an understanding from the panel if consideration was given to the fact that Advocate Arendse was the Lead Independent Director during the period of the appointment of Thabang Moroe as CEO and the creation of the Global League T20 tournament. And secondly the utterances he made regarding CSA during the period he was off the board.”
Arendse served as president from 2007 to 2009 and later was an independent director following the Nicholson Commission in 2012.
Seedat acquiesced to the Members Council objection, saying the panel would forward seven names for appointment to the board, and that the Nominations Panel would consider Arendse’s presence over the next few days and make a pronouncement before the AGM reconvenes on Wednesday.
Richards, elected unopposed as CSA’s new president, said there was nothing he or the Members Council could do, should the Nominations Panel insist on Arendse’s presence.
“The appointment of independent directors for the transition period, in terms of Schedule 3 (of the Memorandum of Incorporation), remains the responsibility of the independent (Nominations) Panel,” said Richards.
“The Panel has the right to consult, we’ve raised our concerns...the Panel takes responsibility for the appointment of independent directors, and as such if they make a decision, then we are all bound to that. We have placed our concerns on record but it has no bearing on their decisions.”
Besides Richards’ election, Donovan May from Eastern Province was elected vice-president - also unopposed. In keeping with Cricket SA’s new constitution, neither can serve on the new Board of Directors.
The Members Council also voted for the five representatives who will serve as non-independent directors.
Of concern for CSA, is that just one of the new Board members is a woman - Ntambi Ravele. “It’s definitely not acceptable. There is a need to bring more women into the administration section of the game,” said Richards.
Another point of concern was the announcement that Cricket SA is set to make a loss of R250-million in the current financial year. While a loss of R180-million was expected, the coffers took a further hit when England shortened its tour to South Africa last November, Australia cancelled its Test series and India’s announcement recently that it won’t fulfill its T20 series, as the BCCI tries to accommodate the conclusion of the IPL.
The chairman of the outgoing Interim Board, Dr. Stavros Nicolaou said the new administrative structure will hopefully lead to sponsors wanting to associate with Cricket SA. “The new governance framework will give confidence to sponsors going forward. It will assist the commercial and financial position of the organisation,”said Nicolaou.
CSA Board of Directors
Independent Members: Steven Budlender SC, Andrew Hudson, Dugmore Lushaba, Lawson Naidoo, Andisa Ntsubane, Mark Rayner, Muditambi Ravele. *
Non-independent members: Daniel Govender, John Mogodi, Craig Nel, Tebogo Siko, Simphiwe Ndzundzu.
* An eighth independent director will be appointed by the Nominations Panel this week