Interim Board says Cricket South Africa’s Members Council speaks with a forked tongue
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JOHANNESBURG - Cricket South Africa’s Interim Board accused the federation’s Members Council of lying about time constraints in the build up to last week’s Special General Meeting.
In a lengthy press briefing on Thursday, the Board’s chair, Dr Stavros Nicolaou, laid out a comprehensive timeline about the Board’s interactions with regard to the adoption of a new Memorandum of Incorporation for CSA, that flew in the face of the Members Council’s claims on Tuesday that it had too little time to consider the MOI before voting on it at last Saturday’s Special General Meeting.
The Members Council - CSA’s most powerful decision-making body - failed to obtain the 75% majority needed to adopt the new MOI and put an end to the lengthy governance crisis that has afflicted the organisation. That came after the Council had told the Board and Sports Minister a week earlier that it would be adopting the MOI.
On Tuesday in a statement that included concerns it had about complying with the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, the Council pointed out that it had insufficient time to consider the MOI or get input from its provincial affiliates.
Not so, said Nicolaou on Thursday. “The contention that things were just thrust upon the Members Council at the last minute, is not factual,” said Nicolaou.
He outlined in detail all interaction between the Board and Council dating back to January, that also included interactions between the Members Council and governance expert Michael Katz in the middle of March.
Some weeks before that, Nicolaou said he could sense “pull back,” on issues related to the new board of directors for CSA being made up of a majority of independent officials, with an independent director also chairing the board.
Like Mthethwa has emphasised on a number of occasions, Nicolaou repeated that a majority of independents had to serve on the board, with an independent chairman. "Those two principles are set in stone."
He and Mthethwa thought they’d gotten that fact across to the Members Council, especially when the Council’s acting chairman, Rihan Richards had agreed to it at a meeting between the three on April 9.
Following Saturday’s meeting, attended by Mthethwa where the motion for the new MOI was not adopted, the Sports Minister said he would be invoking Section 13 of the National Sports and Recreation Act, that would include halting funding to CSA from government, but more importantly, remove recognition from CSA as the governing authority for the sport in the country. That would mean the Proteas would no longer be recognised as the official representative cricket of South Africa.
Mthethwa, who met with the Members Council again on Wednesday night, is understood to be working with his legal team in gazzetting the powers available to him through the Act.
“Section 13 is too calamitous for us to contemplate,” said Nicolaou. He did add there was still a way open for the Members Council to resolve the impasse, if it adopted a resolution, by 75% of its members to adopt the MOI.
That would enable Section 60 of the Companies Act to be engaged, and could “save cricket,” said Nicolau.