Cricket SA’s acting president Beresford Williams. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Cricket SA’s acting president Beresford Williams. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Mass confusion abounds as Sascoc and CSA continue engagement about crisis-ridden SA cricket

By Stuart Hess Time of article published Sep 17, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - Neither Cricket SA nor Sascoc provided any clarity about the crisis affecting South African cricket.

The two organisations have been locked in a series of meetings - the first of which took place last week - but solutions to all of CSA’s problems seem to be a long way from being found.

In a joint press conference on Thursday involving Sascoc’s acting president Aleck Skhosana, CSA’s acting president Beresford Williams and a trio of Members Council representatives, Williams, who wants to become CSA’s president on a permanent basis, used the word “engage,” or variants thereof, a lot.

Sascoc wants an independent task team to investigate CSA, and it needs the full forensic report compiled by Fundudzi Forensic Services to start that investigation. CSA does not want to hand Sascoc the full report without the olympic body signing an NDA first. Sascoc wants CSA to foot the bill for the investigation - CSA doesn’t want to do that.

Sascoc wants CSA’s Board and senior management including company secretary Welsh Gwaza and acting CEO Kugandrie Govender to “step aside,” while the task team does it’s work, CSA doesn’t want to do that either.

“We are in engagement with Sascoc, we’ve been in engagement with Sascoc and we will continue to engage with Sascoc,” said Williams. “CSA has a fiduciary duty to cricket...we continue to stay committed to the dialogue and engagement. We will make the summary report available and provide the necessary breakdown by our legal representatives.”

Sascoc’s acting president Aleck Skhosana. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Williams said the reason for the NDA being in place was based on advice from CSA’s legal counsel, Bowman Gilfillan. “There are three issues for me,” said Williams. “There is a huge risk at compromising future litigation; we are in legal processes at the moment and thirdly around issues of liability, if there is any liability in that matter we as a board and as an organisation cannot shift the blame we have to look at what that liability is and consequences for the organisation and cricket in general,” said Williams.

The Members Council - CSA’s highest decision-making body, made up of the provincial presidents - was taken through a summary of the report last weekend by Bowmans. Bowmans compiled the summary report, not Fundudzi.

“We all have a better understanding of CSA’s position...that it’s not in our interest to disclose the full gambit of the report,” said the Central Gauteng Lions president, Anne Vilas. Vilas and her union have been vocal about the report’s contents being made available in full to the Members Council. “There are further investigations that need to take place. We have to be mindful of people’s rights mentioned in the report, and we need to be cognisant that we can’t step on their rights, but certainly further action will be taken should it be warranted.”

Cricket SA has set a precedent for how to deal with individuals who are being investigated. Last December it suspended Thabang Moroe before Fundudzi started its work. However both Williams and Vilas don’t feel that should be applied now. “I don’t think an investigation has been done on any names mentioned in the report that warrants them being suspended right now,” said Vilas. “There is stuff going on right now. Unless we firmly believe that something is being withheld from us on board members mentioned in the report, we don’t feel it’s sufficient for them to resign or stand down.”

While Williams and CSA want to “engage”, Skhosana provided the following caveat. Sascoc held a meeting with Sports Minister, Nathi Mthethwa on Wednesday where Mthethwa expressed his “appreciation for the initiatives taken by Sascoc,” to try and assist CSA. That tacit support for Sascoc’s resolutions from the government, should concern CSA and all of its leadership.

@shockerhess

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