Cricket South Africa president Chris Nenzani quit his position on Monday. Picture: BackpagePix
Cricket South Africa president Chris Nenzani quit his position on Monday. Picture: BackpagePix

OPINION: Time for government to step in at rudderless Cricket South Africa

By Stuart Hess Time of article published Aug 18, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - It was just another manic Monday at Cricket South Africa (CSA), an organisation that has had terrible Tuesdays, woeful Wednesdays, frightening Fridays and sorry Saturdays – and that’s just in the last month.

That CSA is an organisation in total free-fall was confirmed late yesterday when Jacques Faul confirmed he had tendered his resignation with immediate effect.

Faul has grown so despondent at the organisation – which he’d been parachuted into to stabilise following the dark days of December 2019 – that he didn’t want to complete the last month of his acting tenure there any longer.

Earlier yesterday, the organisation confirmed that Chris Nenzani had resigned, too.

Nenzani had just three weeks remaining as president before a new person is due to be elected into that position at CSA’s next Annual General Meeting on September 5.

The organisation is now rudderless. It is drowning in a sea of scandal all of its own creation that started with a group of administrators, who are clearly out of their depth.

They hastily appointed Thabang Moroe to the position of chief executive, then gave him all manner of extra power and failed in their due diligence to maintain proper oversight as he plunged the organisation into a morass of maladministration.

The only responsibility Nenzani took for that whole affair was a press conference at the airport.

Into this void opportunists have stepped, led by the organisation’s company secretary Welsh Gwaza.

Yesterday morning, in a letter telling its commercial partners about Nenzani’s resignation, those partners were told that “all communication which would have been meant for” the president’s office, be addressed “to the office of the Company Secretary”.

CSA would not comment about why a company secretary – a person supposedly in charge of ensuring the organisation remains compliant with regulatory and statutory requirements – was now responsible for dealing with the commercial partners.

Why deputy president Beresford Williams, who it can quite reasonably be assumed should just fulfil the presidency role in the interim, or CSA’s chief commercial officer Kugandrie Govender (her job title reflects that she handles those matters) aren’t dealing with the commercial partners is a mystery.

CSA has legal battles that it would normally be assumed the company secretary should be dealing with, including with chief operating officer Nassei Appiah and former head of sales and sponsor relations Clive Eksteen.

However, CSA is anything but a normal organisation anymore. It is rotten to its core and the players don’t trust the administrators.

The former players who’ve been painfully highlighting their mistreatment in the sport post-unity, rejected the Social Justice and Nation building proposal that is the brainchild of new independent board member Eugenia Kula-Ameyaw, the organisation’s finances are a mess and the national men’s team – the sport in this country’s major moneymaker – drastically needs fixing.

Usually, the government should stay very far away from administering sport, especially this government, whose own record of efficiency and honesty leaves a lot to be desired.

But when it comes to Cricket South Africa and the current state the organisation finds itself in, is there any other option?

@shockerhess

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