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Cricket South Africa’s timeline of chaos

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JOHANNESBURG – Cricket South Africa has dug the deepest of holes for itself. Senior cricket writer Stuart Hess looks back at the key moments since Thabang Moroe was suspended as CEO in December.

December 6, 2019 – Thabang Moroe is suspended as CEO, on full pay, pending the outcome of an independent forensic audit. Cricket SA refer to reports received from two committees which claim “possible failure of controls in the organisation”.

December 7 – CSA’s president Chris Nenzani says he and the organisation’s Board of Directors are not responsible for the problems that led to Moroe’s suspension. “The Board is not complicit in terms of decision making,” says Nenzani. Jacques Faul is also named acting CEO of CSA.

December 11 – Graeme Smith appointed acting Director of Cricket.

December 14 – Smith names Mark Boucher, the new head coach of the Proteas men’s team. Enoch Nkwe is his assistant. Both are given four year contracts, with an eye on the 2023 Cricket World Cup.

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Proteas coach Mark Boucher and his assistant Enoch Nkwe pictured during training at Super Sport Park. Picture: Christiaan Kotze/BackpagePix

December 16 – CSA announce that former ICC CEO, Dave Richardson will head a committee to assess the restructuring of domestic cricket. That issue had caused a deep rift between the players union, the SA Cricket Association and CSA.

December 26 – Actual cricket takes centre-stage for a bit, with the start of the first Test against England in Centurion. South Africa will win that match a few days later, its first victory in six Tests. The series would be lost the next month however, leaving the Proteas with a record of one win from their last nine Tests.

January 20, 2020 – Faul says forensic audit, will start in early February. This would later be shown to be wishful thinking.

March 16, 2020 – CSA announce the suspension of the remainder of the domestic season because of the Covid-19 epidemic. CSA staff told to work from home, but forensic investigation not impacted.

May 19, 2020 – CSA announces that Vuyokazi Memani-Sedile, Dheven Dharmalingam, and Dr Eugenia Kula-Ameyaw, will serve as independent directors until the AGM on September 5.

June 8 – (10.42am) SA Cricket Association, slams CSA for not meeting a ‘six month deadline’ it set for completing investigations related to Moroe’s suspension.

(5.30pm) CSA says it notes, “stakeholders’ concerns.” “This situation is regrettable, and CSA would like to assure all cricket stakeholders of our uppermost intention to ensure absolute transparency on the related forensic outcomes once all of the related processes have been concluded.”

June 11 – Moroe turns up at CSA’s office (which is empty because staff are working from home owing to Covid-19 restrictions) to resume work, claiming his six month suspension has ended. Nenanzi tells security to let him in because it’s cold outside.

June 12 – Following a late night meeting, CSA’s Board says Moroe remains suspended until the forensic investigation is completed. “The Board is confident that the investigation is coming to a head and there will be more clarity and certainty provided before the end of June,” CSA says in a statement.

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Cricket South Africa’s former head of sales and sponsor relations, Clive Eksteen. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

June 14 – CSA fires head of sponsor relations, Clive Eksteen, claiming he was “guilty of transgressions of a serious nature.” Eksteen takes CSA to the CCMA

June 16 – Nenzani addresses an on-line press conference, revealing that Moroe was only given written confirmation of his suspension on January 24 (in terms of CSA’s Code of Conduct this is a problem). He also states that the Members Council took responsibility for the forensic investigation, by setting the terms of reference, and finding the firm which would conduct it. This meant the investigation, carried out by Fundudzi Forensic Services, only started its work on March 6.

June 19 – Nenzani tells the parliamentary portfolio committee for sports, art and culture that the report will be submitted to CSA by the end of the month. “In as far as the law allows we’ll share information in the report with the public and this committee.”

June 23 – Document claiming Boucher is a shareholder in a company that created the 3TC event is leaked. CSA says the document is false, it will investigate who leaked it and criminal charges could follow.

June 29 – CSA’s Board meets to discuss the first part of the forensic report. “I would like to stress that the Board is treating this matter with urgency and is committed to bring it to immediate conclusion,” remarks Nenzani. “We will certainly be able to act on the issue of the suspended Chief Executive on the basis of the first report.”

July 8 – Following a report in the Sunday Times, CSA denies it changed the terms of reference for the auditors. The Times stated that an internal document it acquired indicated that the terms of reference for the auditors was changed to draw attention away from the Board and focus on Moroe and senior management.

July 21 – “The report and the actions recommended by the Board will be considered by the Members Council very shortly,” says Nenzani. “We will then be in a position to make the relevant parts public. We can’t put a precise date (on when that will happen).”

August 1 – Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith says a there’s a “cancer within the organisation.” You try and sit and work out who in senior positions in this organisation is doing this, and why? What is the end goal? Is it serving cricket?” He calls for the forensic report to be made public.

August 7 – CSA’s company secretary Welsh Gwaza says forensic report is an “internal source document for the Members Council,”and “is not a public document but remains an internal property of CSA”

August 8 – Northerns Cricket Union president, Tebogo Siko becomes the first representative of the Board and Members Council to publicly demand that the report be released to the Members Council

August 13 – CSA’s Board holds lengthy meeting with Moroe and his legal team. “Nothing material emerged,” said Moroe’s lawyer, Michael Motsoeneng Bill.

August 16 – CSA fires Chief Operation Officer, Nassei Appiah, claiming he was “guilty of transgressions of a serious nature.” Appiah takes his case to the Labour Court.

August 17 – (11.02am) CSA announces that Nenzani has resigned as president.

(6.02pm) Faul confirms that he has resigned as acting CEO. Both men had less than a month left in their respective positions.

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Chris Nenzani quit as Cricket South Africa president in August. Picture: BackpagePix.

August 19 – SACA says the resignations of Nenzani and Faul are a clear indication that ”cricket in South Africa is at war with itself.”

August 20 – Beresford Williams, CSA’s acting president requests that the organisation’s meeting with the parliament’s portfolio committee for sports, art and culture, scheduled for the next day, be postponed. The main topic to be discussed was the forensic report. In a letter to the committee Williams says CSA’s Audit and Risk Committee received the final report on July 31.

“The Audit and Risk Committee is currently reviewing such report to ensure that the matters addressed therein are appropriately processed by Cricket South Africa. As such, the draft final forensic report has not been shared with the CSA Members Council, who are the initiators of the independent forensic investigation.”

August 21 – Independent director, Prof. Steve Cornelius resigns.

August 24 – List of nominations for Board and Presidency to be voted on at the AGM is released to Members Council, it contains, a suspended provincial president, another being investigated for assault while the three nominees for independent positions on the Board are the only names submitted and candidates proposed by the provinces have been ignored.

August 25 – Veteran sports administrators including former CSA and ICC president, Ray Mali, calls for AGM to be postponed.

August 25 – Kugandrie Govender is appointed acting CEO of CSA. Thamie Mthembu is named acting Chief Commercial Officer.

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Kugandrie Govender was appointed acting chief executive officer of Cricket South Africa. Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)

August 27 – (2.07pm) Central Gauteng Lions calls for CSA’s Board to resign immediately, citing issues with the nominations process for the AGM

(3.14pm) CSA fires Moroe claiming he committed “acts of serious misconduct.”

August 31 – (3pm) CSA meets with Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

(8.11pm) CSA announces that it is postponing its AGM scheduled for September 5, and will attempt to implement recommendations from the Nicholson commission along with recommendations contained in the forensic report before setting new date for AGM.

September 1 – CSA meets with Sascoc.

@shockerhess

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