Linda Zondi: It was clear sabotage
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CAPE TOWN - Linda Zondi has accused Cricket SA’s former chief executive Thabang Moroe and Gauteng Cricket president Jack Madiseng of “clear sabotage” which has now negatively impacted on his chances of being reinstalled as national convenor of selectors.
Zondi is one of the most experienced selectors in the country, having come through the ranks as a talent scout at KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa U-19 before serving two years on the national selection panel from 2013-2015 prior to graduating to the convener’s role from 2015-2019. The 43-year-old was then appointed as the “independent selector” until the end of last season.
Zondi has, however, been informed via an email, which Independent Media has seen, from Cricket SA’s Director of Cricket Graeme Smith that he’s not been shortlisted for the new full-time role, which was re-advertised in April 2020 after the initial candidates interviewed in November 2019 “did not produce a sufficient pool of the calibre of personnel CSA was hoping to recruit”.
“Unfortunately, your scoring was not part of the candidates that scored the highest in the previous interviews and therefore we did not invite you to interview in this round,” Smith’s email read.
Zondi acknowledges his previous November interview was not up to scratch, and holds no grudges against Smith, but believes he was not treated fairly. The November interview panel consisted of Moroe, Madiseng, current acting CSA president Beresford Williams, Tebogo Siko, Shirley Zinn and Dawn Mokhobo.
“What happened in November was that they sent me a Whatsapp message to attend an interview. From thereon they said I have an interview at Kingsmead. I remember it was the first day of the Mzansi Super League at Kingsmead. When I arrived at Kingsmead at 11am for my 2pm interview, they had not arranged a room for me to do the interview,” Zondo exclusively told Independent Media.
“I spoke to the PA, who said Cricket SA had not informed them that I will be having a visual interview. I had to arrange my own interview on the day. I had to try and get an IT specialist to get me connected. When I finally got connected, it got cut. The IT guy then at least managed to reconnect me. After reconnection, they said they could hear me, but they couldn’t see me. But I could see them.
“They asked the first question which was ‘Do you understand the role of this position?’. I responded and explained. The second question related to Dale Steyn’s inclusion in the World Cup squad, which I explained was related to Anrich Nortje. While I was explaining this to them, I saw Thabang and Jack were doing the visual gestures of ‘cut, cut, we don’t need him’. When I saw that I went flat and I don’t even remember the third and fourth questions. I confronted Thabang and asked what they were looking for. He gave me a very autocratic response that they are looking for someone that’s going to change Cricket SA.
“A few days later I called Beresford. ‘Do you know when you guys interviewed me I could see what you guys were doing?’ Beresford confirmed it: ‘Yes I saw Linda what those guys were doing. I couldn’t do anything, but I want to apologise to you on behalf of Cricket SA over what happened to you.’
“It was clear sabotage. Thabang was pushing for Patrick Moroney. And now they say they didn’t take me because of the score of that interview. Four of those people who sat on that interview panel are no longer there. Thabang was fired. Jack has resigned. Dawn resigned. Shirley Zinn resigned.”
Williams confirmed to Independent Media yesterday that the conditions for the interview “were not ideal”.
Moroney, along with Hussein Manack and Victor Mpitsang, were reportedly interviewed last week for the new position that will encompass the Proteas Men’s team but now also the Proteas Women’s side, the South Africa A team and the SA Under-19 boys team.