SACA shocked by suspension of 3 CSA officials, calls for independent investigation
The South African Cricketers Association expressed its surprise at the suspension of three senior officials by Cricket SA which rocked the sport this week.
In a detailed statement released on Thursday morning, that outlines a timeline of its talks with Cricket SA, SACA, the players union, which represents over 300 professional cricketers in the country, claimed that it didn’t deal with one of those suspended, and that the other two, had in fact wanted to resolve the issue over players image rights for last year's Mzansi Super League expeditiously.
Cricket SA on Wednesday announced the suspension of current interim Director of Cricket, Corrie van Zyl, Chief Operating Officer Nassei Appiah, the Head of sales and sponsorship, Clive Eksteen. Their suspension related to what CSA claimed was “an an unfortunate situation involving players and player contracts.”
However, SACA, through its CEO, Tony Irish said the situation was largely of CSA’s own and more specifically the organisation’s chief executive, Thabang Moroe’s, making.
“We are very surprised that Naasei Appiah, Corrie van Zyl and Clive Eksteen have been suspended in relation to allegations surrounding CSA’s non-compliance with the 2018 MSL commercial agreement,” said Irish. “SACA didn’t deal with Appiah on this issue and in its dealings with Van Zyl and Eksteen over many months they both expressed a strong desire to resolve the payment issue, but it eventually became clear that higher approval to do so was necessary,” said SACA chief executive, Tony Irish. “We think it’s highly unlikely that CSA’s chief executive, Thabang Moroe, would not have been aware of this ongoing issue. He was undoubtedly aware of payment obligations as he had signed the agreement.”
In announcing the suspension of the trio this week, Cricket SA said it was “investigating this matter to determine the extent to which certain CSA employees were or were not derelict in fulfilling their duties.”
SACA has called for that investigation to be carried out by an independent person but not only be limited to issues related to the image rights, which after SACA had launched a dispute with CSA, has subsequently been resolved, but also into other matters pertaining to CSA. “We believe that this will ensure that the principle of accountability, referred to by CSA’s chief executive (on Wednesday), is in fact applied equally, fairly and without fear or favour,” said Irish.