JOHANNESBURG – That Central Gauteng Cricket and specifically the region’s clubs are being used again as part of a political battle within Cricket South Africa is disgraceful.
The fact that the clubs - black, white, coloured or whatever other racial/gender/sexual affiliation they wish to side with - allow themselves to be used in this manner is also cause for deep introspection by those clubs.
A decade after Gerald Majola tried to deflect questions asked by Gauteng Cricket’s then administrators about the bonuses he illicitly paid to himself, Central Gauteng (as it is now known) once more finds itself at the centre of attempts by CSA to use it, seemingly, as part of a power grab within Cricket SA.
Majola established the Langa Commission in 2009 (chaired by former chief justice Pius Langa), which on the surface was supposed to assess transformation within Gauteng cricket, but was ostensibly a weapon to rid the provincial administration of those asking difficult questions about the bonuses he was receiving.
The recommendations from Langa included creating a specific racial composition for the Gauteng board - a system that was supposed to remain in place until this year’s annual general meeting - where all the clubs would vote in an open forum for whomever they wanted to serve on the board and specifically the president of Central Gauteng Cricket.
That AGM happens tonight, but as reported in The Star yesterday, no vote for the board or the union’s president will take place.
That latter bit is the important part here. Jack Madiseng is the Central Gauteng president and as a result sits on Cricket SA’s board of directors, where he has become a close confidante of that organisation’s chief executive, Thabang Moroe.
Reports have emerged in recent weeks that Madiseng may one day - as soon as next year, even - take over as Cricket SA’s president, making him an even more powerful ally for Moroe.
Cricket SA have, as reported yesterday, once again turned to another judge - Bernard Ngoepe this time - to see if the Langa recommendations have been properly instituted at Gauteng, hence the decision to postpone the election.
The obvious question is: Everyone knew the period for Langa's recommendations ended with the AGM that is due to take place tonight, so why, if CSA wanted to make sure those recommendations were properly carried out, wasn’t an assessment of the kind Ngoepe is supposed to be carrying out done earlier this year? Why wait until a month before the AGM to raise concerns?
You can see why people are theorising about sinister motives.
These are turbulent times in South African cricket.
A case before the High Court is in the offing, illustrative of the unhappiness of the country’s professional players with CSA. Also, the national body has a forecast debt of R654 million, a new TV rights deal that needs negotiating, and a new structure around the national men’s team, while advertisers aren’t exactly lining up, and it appears Moroe wants to make himself a strong-man.
Again it’s Central Gauteng Cricket and the province’s clubs which seem like they are being used as political pawns. And that is deeply concerning.