JOHANNESBURG – A group of prominent former administrators – including a current member of the Sports Ministry’s Eminent Persons Group – has called for a halt to elections at Cricket South Africa’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).
In a letter addressed to Cricket SA’s senior leadership, the group calls for the appointment of an administrator and an acting CEO, along with an interim Board of Directors to run the organisation and take “cricket out of this mess.”
Among the signatories on the letter are CSA’s former president Ray Mali, the former CEO of Gauteng Cricket, Greg Fredericks and Fezile Sipamla, a member of the EPG, which compiles annual reports about the state of South African sport.
Cricket South Africa has been beset with controversy in the last 18 months, with bitter in-fighting, a complete implosion of leadership and increasing signs that it has little clue about proper governance.
“The perception of our sport cannot be more damning and this calls for extraordinary measures to correct the situation,” the group wrote.
Three senior officials; president Chris Nenzani, acting CEO Dr. Jacques Faul and independent director Prof. Steve Cornelius all resigned in the space of a few days last week. Cricket South Africa has failed to make public details of a forensic report into its suspended CEO Thabang Moroe, which has plunged the organisation into crisis.
Moroe was suspended in the first week of December last year, charged with misconduct and maladministration. Fundudzi Forensic Auditors were appointed to conduct a forensic investigation that would look not only at Moroe’s conduct but also the oversight mechanisms which the Board of Directors were supposed to employ.
Having dilly-dallied over who was responsible for the terms of reference for the investigators, it was eventually decided – three months after Moroe’s suspension, that the Members Council – the 14-person body made up of the provincial presidents – would take responsibility for the investigation.
But in an illustration of CSA’s poor governance mechanisms seven of those Members Council representatives also sit on the Board of Directors, who’s methods faced scrutiny from the forensic auditors.
Despite Nenzani claiming on numerous occasions that Cricket SA would act quickly once the report was received, it still remains under lock and key at CSA. It has been in CSA’s possession for seven weeks and even parliament can’t see it after CSA, through acting president Beresford Williams, pleaded for CSA’s appearance before the portfolio committee for Sport, Arts and Culture scheduled for last Friday to be postponed.
That plea was granted, with Williams stating CSA was “currently reviewing (the forensic report) to ensure that the matters addressed therein are appropriately processed.”
At a Members Council meeting on Monday, CSA’s company secretary, Welsh Gwaza circulated a letter from CSA’s lawyers, Bowman Gilfillan which said the forensic audit report was not to be made available to the Members Council.
Meanwhile CSA have sought to continue as if everything is perfectly normal ahead of its AGM, on Saturday week. However doubts have now arisen about the legitimacy of the nominations process for that AGM where CSA is supposed to vote for a new president, and at least two new representatives for the Board.
Two of the six nominees for the Board have dark clouds hanging over them; Border Cricket’s president Simphiwe Ndzundzu is being investigated for assault after allegedly attacking three people, two of whom are women, one of whom’s arm he is accused of fracturing with a knobkerrie. Meanwhile Easterns Cricket Union is not endorsing Xolani Vonya for the Board either having suspended him in May this year.
There is all sorts of dysfunctionality at provincial level with Eastern Province still to decide about its AGM, Western Province has an acting president and CEO and North West threatening to take CSA to court demanding the release of a forensic audit about the illegal use of building fees at Senwes Park.
It also emerged at Monday night’s Members Council meeting, that some of the nominations processes may not have been properly handled either. The nomination of Eugenia Kula-Ameya as the sole candidate for Lead Independent Director was “a mistake,” Gwaza told the meeting.
Kula-Ameya, has courted publicity since being named as an independent director in April, engaging in social media spats between players and establishing a Social Justice and nation building programme, to assist CSA’s transformation initiatives.
She initially sought R100-million for a ‘Restoration Fund,’ to “deal with opportunity lost due to discrimination,” but agreed to an amount of R10-million when confronted with CSA’s dire financial position.