CAPE TOWN – Former Cricket SA chief executive Haroon Lorgat has labelled the state of South African cricket as “catastrophic” after “Manic Monday” saw the resignations of both President Chris Nenzani and acting chief executive Jacques Faul.
The double departure followed just a day after the beleaguered organisation had sacked former chief operating officer Naasei Appiah for “transgressions of a serious nature”.
However, Appiah, along with another dismissed employee, former head of sales and sponsorships Clive Eksteen, will be taking CSA to court to challenge their dismissals.
CSA have stumbled from one palaver to the next since Thabang Moroe replaced Lorgat as acting chief executive in September 2017. Moroe, who was later appointed on a full-time basis, is currently suspended and face charges of eight counts of misconduct. He is expected to hear his fate later this week after the results of a forensic audit are made public.
“I think the last two to three years have been catastrophic. We have seen mistakes after mistakes and it has been painful to watch. I ask myself if it is because of a lack of competence at CSA?” Lorgat told IOL Sport.
“Personally I am very disappointed with the independent directors who ought to have provided expert guidance and independent oversight. When the new governance structure was put in place we had all believed they would have brought about the necessary checks and balances, but it’s clear the incumbents have failed us.
“I don’t believe it’s the structure, but instead the individuals who failed dismally, perhaps because they did not have the required experience or cricketing and political knowledge to play the role they ought to have. It is now the right time to review and implement those Nicholson recommendations that were shafted.”
Independent directors Shirley Zinn, Mohammed Iqbal Khan and Dawn Mokhobo all tendered their resignations last year. A fourth member, and only non-independent director, Jack Madiseng, also resigned in December.
Lorgat, who also served as head of the International Cricket Council from 2008-2012, believes CSA’s Members Council should accept the blame for the chaos that has unfolded.
“I also believe the Members Council must take a large share of the blame. Hereto lies an inherent conflict with half of the Members Council sitting on the board. Clearly this has not worked with the player (board) acting as the referee (council) too. People often refer to the Members Council as “those turkeys won’t vote for Christmas,” he said.
Cricket SA’S Members Council appointed Beresford Williams on Tuesday as acting President until the Annual General Meeting to be held on September 5. Lorgat believes the meeting should actually be postponed if any meaningful change is to occur.
“The problems we now face were caused by the same people who are seeking election as the new President or Board members. The Members Council must stand up and take responsibility. In my view they should dissolve the board immediately, defer the AGM and put in place an interim group of qualified people to save our game. CSA needs to go into administration with experts to stop the freefall we in,” he said.
Lorgat, who served the majority of his tenure at CSA alongside Nenzani, claimed the former President was “excellent” in the beginning of his term but “then something happened, like a switch went off.”
Nenzani had been in the position since 2013 and served two three-year terms, the second of which was extended through a change in CSA’s constitution in 2019. That gave Nenzani an additional 12 months, which he has since publicly admitted regretting staying on.
“I see his performance in two parts. The first three or so years were excellent and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to be leading the organisation and to be working with. But then something happened, like a switch went off. Chris Nenzani was a different person who became difficult to work with. The support he had always provided simply disappeared,” Lorgat said.