Former Cricket South Africa CEO Thabang Moroe cops a lot of blame for various issues in the forensic reporr. Picture: Thabang Lepule/BackpagePix.
Former Cricket South Africa CEO Thabang Moroe cops a lot of blame for various issues in the forensic reporr. Picture: Thabang Lepule/BackpagePix.

CSA forensic report: A picture of a dysfunctional structure

By Stuart Hess Time of article published Oct 6, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - The summary of Fundudzi Forensic Services’ infamous report paints a picture of a dysfunctional administrative structure at Cricket South Africa and a board, which exercised awful oversight of an inexperienced chief executive, which it appointed.

In Cricket SA’s own summary of the forensic report, all the blame for all of CSA’s problems in the last two years is placed at the feet of axed chief executive Thabang Moroe.

However, within the summary itself, compiled by CSA’s lawyers Bowman Gilfillan, it is clear that CSA’s current administration needs to be completely reviewed, while the board bears responsibility for terrible organisation that demands far greater sanction than the summary makes clear.

Moroe cops a lot of blame for various issues; from agreeing to commercial deals while disregarding elements of the Companies Act, the illegitimate appointment of staff - most notably the hiring of HR manager Chantel Moon - the revoking of media accreditation of journalists, and the spending on company credit cards.

In that last instance, it almost beggars belief that an organisation as large as CSA didn’t have a credit card policy as the summary indicates, while the fact that Moroe and former COO Nassei Appiah are fingered for spending R64 839.50 and R201 372.80 on alcohol alone shows just how out of hand senior administrators were.

The board seemingly asked very few questions. What oversight there was, was sloppy.

Mohammed Iqbal Khan, an independent director, who also chaired the financial and commercial committee, is highlighted as having a conflict of interest over the building work at Newlands, and loans to the Western Province Cricket Association.

Khan, who resigned from the board last December, was COO of Brimstone Investments; his boss, Brimstone CEO Mustaq Brey, was an independent director of Western Province, yet when Khan was asked to recuse himself from meetings related to loans CSA was to pay to Western Province, he didn’t do so.

The same goes for Beresford Williams, Cricket SA’s acting president and a former president of the Western Province Cricket Association, who also served on the financial and commercial committee that approved a R5 million loan for the WPCA.

“Williams was the WPCA President prior to being appointed as CSA Vice-President and should have identified a potential conflict of interest and recused himself from sitting in the FinCom meeting that approved the R5 million loan application by WPCA,” reads one citation in the summary. Williams wants to run for the presidency of CSA.

Appiah, who is currently locked in a court battle with CSA over wrongful dismissal, doesn’t come out of the summary well either. Besides the alcohol bill on the credit card, his negotiation of various commercial deals, including one referred to in the summary as “Service Provider X”, was found to have been concluded without proper procurement processes being followed.

“CSA entered into an agreement with ‘Service Provider X’ for the development and execution of CSA’s Public Sector Stakeholder Strategy, including securing revenue agreements,” reads the summary.

Appiah signed the agreement on behalf of CSA.

“Service Provider X’ was required to provide revenue agreements in terms of which CSA would derive a net financial benefit of at least R30 million bi-annually. There is no evidence that ‘Service Provider X’ provided CSA with revenue agreements as included in the contract. There is no evidence that CSA reviewed the performance of the agreement was done. CSA paid ‘Service Provider X’ a total of R3490036.92 in respect of the agreement. There is no indication of how CSA considered whether ‘Service Provider X’ had delivered on its obligations.”

Among the recommendations is that a criminal investigation be conducted into that deal for alleged breaches of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.

One person’s name mentioned just once in the summary, but whose influence can be read throughout the report, is company secretary Welsh Gwaza. That he didn’t properly advise or provide proper expertise to a young CEO in Moroe deserves far greater scrutiny. If Moroe ignored Gwaza’s advise, why did Gwaza not resign, or why did he not flag any concerns he had with the board?

CSA’s board is scheduled to meet with parliament’s portfolio committee for sport today when the report will be scrutinised further.

@shockerhess

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