JOHANNESBURG – Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa’s intervention at Cricket South Africa officially ended on Friday when he took possession of a 150 page report from the Interim Board which he appointed last October.
The report outlines a new administrative path for the organisation
The protracted process will conclude Saturday, when a new Board of Directors, the majority of whom will be independent, is scheduled to be announced at CSA’s Annual General Meeting. The Independent Board’s report runs through the nine point mandate it was given by the Minister. Among those was the implementation of the recommendations of the Nicholson Report and in particular those related to the independent element on the new board.
Transformation in the sport remains a controversial topic, but through a stipulation in the organisation’s new Memorandum of Incorporation, any future administrators must make transformation central to how the organisation functions.
“Extensive consultation took place to understand the challenges to the achievement of transformation and more importantly identify what is required to improve the pace (thereof),” the Interim Board’s chairman, Stavros Nicolaou said at the handover.
“We completed foundation work…these are now entrenched in the constitution, expression has been given in Schedule 4 in the MOI. It’s not a case of ‘must cricket do it in the future,’ (CSA) is compelled to do it.”
The report also outlines the Interim Board’s work in finalising a number of disciplinary processes which formed part of recommendations made in the Fundudzi Forensic Audit. Among the most significant of those was the dismissal of Company Secretary, Welsh Gwaza.
The presiding officer in that matter, Advocate Terry Motau SC found Gwaza guilty of “gross insubordination,” and being in breach “of provisions in the Companies Act.”
The disciplinary hearing related to former Acting CEO, Kugandrie Govender has also been concluded, with but a final outcome will only be announced next month.
Saturday’s AGM, may mark a historic day for Cricket SA and by extension South African sport. A six-person Nominations Panel, will name the eight new independent directors. The new 15-person Board will include those eight directors, five members of the Members Council – the entity comprising the 14 provincial presidents – as well as the CEO and CFO. While for the current transition period of three years, the independent directors will be appointed, in future they will be elected.
Cricket SA’s Acting president, Rihan Richards, said that despite handing the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, the new MOI a month ago, CSA had still not heard from the Olympic body. Sascoc president, Barry Hendricks has stated his dissatisfaction with the composition of the new CSA Board, specifically that it will contain a majority of independent directors, saying it puts CSA in breach of Sascoc’s constitution.
Mthethwa accepted CSA’s invitation to attend Saturday’s AGM, saying he was satisfied that the process had reached a conclusion. “This was not an easy process precisely because everytime there is a need for change it is bound to test the characters of the people involved,” he said.
The Sports Minister stressed that the recommendations contained in the report be implemented by the new Board given the amount of time and cost that has gone into its finalisation. “It is my hope that the rest of the South African sports fraternity have some lessons to take from this process.”