CSA issue late night statement that proves it is desperate
JOHANNESBURG - Cricket South Africa moved on Thursday night to clarify its clarification over the infamous forensic audit report and in doing so offered further proof of just how desperate it is to keep the troublesome document top secret.
It wasn’t enough that Cricket SA together with Sascoc hosted a 90 minute press conference on Thursday. That press conference featured the acting presidents of both organisations and three representatives of CSA’s Members Council, one of whom is currently suspended by his provincial union.
Nor was it enough that CSA and the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee issued a joint statement later Thursday afternoon. Cricket SA followed up all of that with a 659 word statement at 8.47pm on Thursday.
And still, no one is the wiser about how the organisation is going to resolve the plethora of issues it faces.
What the Thursday night statement did was show how desperate CSA has become to keep that forensic report a secret. There’s plenty of ‘legalese’ in that statement, probably because Cricket SA’s lawyers couldn’t join all those other officials in defending the reasons they’ve given that the report must remain secret.
“The firm of legal experts made it clear that significant damage and/or harm could be done to CSA for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to, any current or future legal and other proceedings in relation to matters dealt with in the report, and that CSA would likely be prejudiced,” read one lengthy sentence in that nighttime statement.
It was confirmed on Thursday that CSA’s attorney’s Bowmans wrote the summary of the report. The investigation which led to the report was conducted by Fundudzi Forensic Services. It’s report runs to 468 pages, while the summary is less than 50 pages.
The Members Council - the highest decision making body in CSA, which commissioned the investigation and drew up the terms of reference - still can’t access the entire report, without signing an NDA first, but have outlined that they are happy with what is contained in the summary.
Meanwhile Sascoc, which wants full access to the report, without signing the NDA, is still keen on establishing that task team to investigate CSA and it will most likely rely heavily on what is contained in the full report. According to its acting president, Aleck Skhosana, Sascoc has the backing of Minister of Sport Nathi Mthethwa for its intervention. It also wants the CSA Board to “step aside,” along with senior management including company secretary Welsh Gwaza and acting CEO Kugandrie Govender.
Cricket SA doesn’t want to do that. Its acting president, Beresford Williams, desperately tried to put a positive spin on the impasse, stating his organisation was, is and will continue to be “in engagement,” with the Olympic body.
The nighttime statement tried to re-emphasise that. “CSA is positive that it has entered into positive dialogue with Sascoc and that the organisation is making great strides to form a collaborative agreement in the best interest of cricket in South Africa, good governance and operations,” read one portion of word salad.
In the meantime, CSA’s Members Council has taken a position of supporting the Board. It is worth remembering that half the Members Council serve on the Board.
There are talks about changing the Memorandum of Incorporation, to apply more of the Nicholson recommendations, and that action will be taken against those found to have breached their fiduciary duties if and when more investigations related to Fundudzi’s report are completed.
CSA is asking the public, the remaining sponsors, the players, coaches and other officials that work in the sport to trust it.
The organisation can go ahead and ask, but none of those entities need to trust CSA. The federation’s actions are indicative of one that has forgotten what it is supposed to do - facilitate and grow cricket. It has patently failed to do that.