JOHANNESBURG – Cricket SA’s Annual General Meeting will be taking place this Saturday, ushering in a new era for the organisation and possibly South African sport in general.
The AGM will hopefully see the appointment of a new Board of Directors, the majority of whom will be independent, i.e. from outside of Cricket SA’s current administrative or operational circles.
Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa, who appointed an Interim Board of Directors last October as CSA’s administration went into meltdown, held a final meeting with the Interim Board and CSA’s Members Council – the body comprising the 14 provincial union presidents – on Wednesday evening.
Mthethwa’s office stated that the purpose of the meeting was to ensure that all the necessary promises made would be kept and that unlike the special General Meeting held in April, Saturday’s AGM, wouldn’t throw up any unexpected events.
“With the amount of time and expense devoted to the process of reforming the sport, it was important for me to conduct a final check with the Cricket SA Acting President and Interim Board Chair, on how arrangements for the much-awaited AGM are progressing and whether there are any surprises I should expect before then,” said Mthethwa.
“Thankfully, through the meeting, I think I was able to provide both the IB and MC another opportunity and platform to clarify any points of difference that still existed, in an attempt to clear the path to a successful AGM, to which I have been invited.”
In fact, Rihan Richards, CSA’s acting president, did indicate that there was still a lack of clarity over the incoming board – which will comprise 14 directors, eight of whom will be independent, with the chairperson of the board being drawn from the independents – and its appointment.
Richards claimed that the Members Council had concerns over the ‘appointment’ rather than the ‘election,’ of the board.
“While the differing interpretation invited the risk of undoing ground that had already been covered through the acceptance of the principle of a “majority-independent” board, further clarification was provided by a legal and governance expert who had been part of the advisory team, who supported the process,” the Ministry said in a statement.
“The expert, together with the IB, led the process of explaining that the initial board, being a transitional one, would be “appointed” by the independent panel that was set up for that purpose, whilst a different process would apply to subsequent boards.”
The Interim Board will also hand over its report outlining the fulfilling of the nine-point mandate Mthethwa had given them upon its appointment.
Cricket SA’s new board will have to hit the ground running, with the organisation in desperate need of re-energising staff, getting the financial coffers back in order, re-igniting transformation and ensuring the senior national men’s team – still the primary income generator for the sport in South Africa – can be successful once more.