Cricket South Africa president Chris Nenzani. Picture: Backpagepix
Cricket South Africa president Chris Nenzani. Picture: Backpagepix

OPINION: More than personnel change needed to make CSA great again

By Stuart Hess Time of article published Jun 18, 2020

Share this article:

CRICKET South Africa hasn’t exercised much urgency in expediting matters related to its suspended chief executive Thabang Moroe.

Speaking on Tuesday evening, the organisation’s president, Chris Nenzani, outlined a few reasons why. The government’s Covid-19 lockdown measures are understandable, but Cricket SA also dragged its feet even before president Cyril Ramaphosa put the country in lockdown at the end of March.

The federation announced on December 6 last year that Moroe was suspended based “on allegations of misconduct” following the submission of two reports to CSA’s board of directors - one from the organisation’s audit and risk committee, the other from the social and ethics committee.

An independent forensic team was to conduct an investigation into “critical aspects of the business”. That had to be a matter of urgency. But then it took Cricket SA nearly three months to appoint the auditors. In that time according to Nenzani, process dictated that the board of directors couldn’t appoint the auditors because the board’s decision-making was to form part of the auditors’ investigation.

Instead the appointment of the investigators “resided with the mMembers council”. Cricket SA’s members council consists of the 12 provincial presidents plus the president and vice-president of the federation. Nenzani and Beresford Williams, the deputy president, Zola Thamae, Donovan May, Angelo Carolissen, Tebogo Siko and John Mogodi, sit on the members council and the board and (with exception of Mogodi who was appointed last month) took a decision that as Board members they couldn’t appoint the investigators because their roles in decisions made as directors needed to be investigated.

Beresford Williams, left, Chris Nenzani and Thabang Moroe. Picture: BackpagePix

However as members council representatives, they could appoint that independent investigative team. It’s a deeply flawed corporate governance.

It is understandable that Cricket SA’s board of directors should have representatives from the provincial affiliates, but not as many - seven as is the case now, alongside five independent directors.

On Tuesday Nenzani outlined how his term as president - which included an extra year, that isn’t allowed for in CSA’s own constitution - and that of two of the non-independent directors will end at the organisation’s annual general meeting scheduled for September 5. Nenzani said it was critical for all involved in CSA to properly prepare for that AGM given the importance of the elections for board positions.

However it is perhaps more critical that CSA’s administrative structure changes as well. Having that many officials serve as directors and representatives of the members council is a flaw in the structure that can undermine good governance. The number of members council officials allowed onto the board of directors needs to be cut drastically and a greater independent entity with better player representation (former players or even an executive member of the SA Cricketers Association) would be more ideal.

The board - especially the non-independent directors like Nenzani, Williams, Carolissen, May and Thamae who were present when Moroe’s alleged misconduct occurred - has not covered itself in glory. It will take more than a change in personnel to make Cricket SA an organisation that is administered better.


Share this article:

Related Articles