Members council on board, but . . .
Cricket SA’s (CSA) obstinate members council (MC) have finally agreed their board can he headed by an independent chairperson, and that the majority on that body be drawn from independent ranks.
In a climate of mistrust and prevarication however, squabbling is likely to ensue in the size and composition of the future board.
The MC had appeared unwilling to accept such strong independent representation but minister of sport, arts and culture Nathi Mthethwa said in a statement the two main sticking points have been removed.
“Whilst the two parties are still going to work out the detail required, this agreement paves the way to the adoption of a revised Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) that will hopefully be adopted at the next ... AGM,” the ministry said.
As it stands, however, those amendments may put CSA at odds with the constitution of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), to which they are affiliated. The confederation's constitution (9.2) requires all members to have their constitutions and rules rubber-stamped by Sascoc.
The statement from the ministry though was quite upbeat. “It is envisaged that the acting president (Rihan Richards) and the interim board chair (Stavros Nicolaou) will get together soonest to not unduly prejudice the agreed timelines and roadmap leading to the election of a new board for CSA.”
The devil will however be in the detail. Whether a spirit of co-operation will now exist between the MC and interim board remains to be seen. The MC has been dragging its heels in cleaning up the administration of the sport, while a so-called third force has sought to undermine the process.
A high- ranking official at CSA who did not want to be named said the MC had been trying to get a compromise which would safeguard more numbers from their ranks onto the board. He said having an inflated board will mean greater participation from the MC’s ranks. “There are 14 MC presidents and it will be easier to get seven of them onto a board of 15 than a board of, say, nine.”
The interim board is now tasked to deliver a report by the time the AGM takes place.
The AGM was originally scheduled for next Saturday.
That will effectively wrap up the interim board’s duties, but there is scepticism about whether that will put cricket on a path to perpetual prosperity. The most salient question then will be: can CSA’s MC reverse some of the processes put in place by the interim board?
“It is conceivable but unlikely,” said the source. “The MC adopts the constitution. If they want to change it again, they can. But it is whether the public, the media, the minister and those who uphold good governance will allow them to. The commercial partners are holding back. They will not come into CSA unless good governance is ensured.”
Before the report is submitted, the interim board as part of the organisation’s clean-up, still needs to bring finality to the charges brought against high-ranking officials Kugandrie Govender and Welsh Gwaza. Rulings on those are imminent.
The two parties are going to work out the detail required Nathi Mthethwa
Minister of sport