JOHANNESBURG – Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa’s legal team was poring over Cricket SA Members Council’s response to his demand as to why he should not ban the organisation from being the governing authority of the sport in the country.
“I have not seen the response, but our legal team is busy with it,” Mthethwa told SABC radio on Tuesday evening.
Mthethwa had set the Members Council – the highest decision-making body in the organisation, comprising the 14 provincial presidents – a 5pm deadline on Tuesday, asking why he should not invoke section 13 of the National Sports and Recreation Act, allowing him to halt government funding and to remove recognition of CSA as the governing authority for the sport.
Should he do so, the Proteas would no longer be the representative team for the country.
On Tuesday morning, the Members Council stated that it had too little time to engage with the provincial affiliates about a new Memorandum of Incorporation, that it needed to engage the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee and that the Interim Board acted in bad faith.
However it appeared that the Members Council’s stance was far from unanimously supported. At least four unions subsequently stated their support for the Interim Board and the changes it needs to institute to Cricket SA’s administrative structure.
Central Gauteng, North West, Free State and Easterns subsequently went public with their positions, with all stating that they supported the Interim Board and the need for administrative reform. “There are changes that need to be introduced for the good of cricket,” said the Free State union’s president Xander Snyders. “It’s about good corporate governance and moving the game forward.”
The Easterns union stated that it had been supportive of initiatives from day one. “We are in favour of implementing the recommendations of the Nicholson report in its entirety,” said the ECU.
Gauteng and North West issued a joint statement in the hours after the Members Council statement, distancing themselves from their fellow presidents. “The Central Gauteng Lions would like to express our disappointment of the Members’ Council (MC) not accepting the MOI despite it being acknowledged as good governance. It appears as if the MC is led by the minority,” CGL president Anne Vilas, said.
Rather than the Members Council not being properly informed about the changes for the MOI, it appears that the Members Council and Interim Board had engaged on several occasions in the days leading up to last Saturday’s meeting, and that on April 15, two days before Special General Meeting, the Members Council, apparently seemed clear about all aspects of the MOI, except one minor detail about the definition of a ‘non-independent director.’
The Council’s chairman, Rihan Richards, in a letter dated April 15 addressed to Interim Board chair Stavros Nicaloau, wrote that all the Council wanted to do was ensure whether the Saturday meeting would be physical or virtual.
That letter came in the middle of a week where a series of meetings had taken place between the Interim Board and Members Council, some stretching late into the night.
Those meetings occurred in the days following the agreement that the Members Council would implement the necessary changes to CSA’s Memorandum of Incorporation, allowing for a
In an interview on 702’s ‘Midday Report,’ Richards said that it wasn’t as simple as stating that six presidents had voted for the changes, because in total eight hadn’t. Indeed five were against, but three abstained. Richards, couldn’t say why abstaining counted as being against the changes.
One provincial official was stunned that there were that many who couldn’t take a position on what is a critical decision for Cricket SA. “They’re actually worst than the five who voted against, at least with them you know where they stand. Why are the abstaining,” the official exclaimed.
Meanwhile, asked for comment on Tuesday, the International Cricket Council, maintained that it was keeping a watching brief. “The ICC encourages Members to work with governments to resolve issues,” said and ICC spokesperson.
“Not all government intervention is problematic and for the ICC to get involved it requires a formal complaint from our Members that it is unwanted. Should that happen we will evaluate the situation based on the facts provided and plan an appropriate course of action.”
Meanwhile, asked for comment on Tuesday, the International Cricket Council maintained that it was keeping a watching brief. “The ICC encourages Members to work with governments to resolve issues,” said and ICC spokesperson. “Not all government intervention is problematic and for the ICC to get involved it requires a formal complaint from our Members that it is unwanted. Should that happen we will evaluate the situation based on the facts provided and plan an appropriate course of action.”
Mthethwa said he’s be keeping the ICC updated about the steps he will take regarding CSA. “As a matter of courtesy, I will, as I’ve done in the past inform the ICC that we are where we are..and we are not seeking permission from them. We are a country, with laws and these laws have to be respected.”