Members council show minister middle finger
Amendments to cricket constitution fail to win approval
● Arguably one of Cricket SA’s (CSA) most pressing meetings yet teetered on the brink before descending into farce yesterday.
In the special general meeting CSA’s members council voted against amending their constitution which would have allowed an independent chairperson and greater independent representation on their board.
For the resolution to pass two-thirds of the 14-member MC needed to approve but only six voted in favour on the first and five on the second resolution respectively.
Their failure to rubber-stamp the constitutional changes places them in the firing line of sports minister Nathi Mthethwa, who has driven the process to bring about change in the administration of the sport after it had been racked by controversy.
Not unlike a capricious Test match, fortunes in the meeting fluctuated between the interim board, who were desperate for a game-changing result, and the MC, who were dragging their feet, playing for time.
After much prevarication the MC succeeded in having the ballot in secret with representatives from Eastern Province, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape and Limpopo among others supporting that option. Gauteng’s Anne Vilas was a lone voice for removing the cloak of secrecy.
Though there appeared to be much manoeuvring behind the scenes the meeting provided a revealing snapshot of the inner
‘ We don’t want interference, opposition or obstruction’
workings of CSA’s MC. The fact that three and then four members respectively abstained from voting on the two critical points should alarm the cricketing fraternity. They are effectively sitting on their hands.
Though the MC gave the thumbs-up to yesterday’s meeting in a vote on Friday, it was clear they were desperate not to be put on the spot in a ballot.
When they could delay the poll no longer the 14 members took an inordinate amount of time to submit their vote.
Why they took so long is not clear. The outcome was perhaps unsurprising given that they signalled their intention to make the constitutional amendments championed by Mthethwa, by a very narrow margin last week. They reneged on that yesterday.
It was clear from the outset yesterday that not all members were aligned with the minister’s wishes. Northern Cape representative Gibson Molale checked into the meeting six minutes before it would have been postponed due to his absence.
Donovan May, Eastern Province’s representative, regularly interjected. Though SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) president Barry Hendricks was invited as an observer, the MC insisted he be given an opportunity to address the meeting.
Hendricks wanted CSA to forward the amended constitution to Sascoc for approval, while outlining the pitfalls should cricket not comply.
The minister however reminded that Sascoc failed in their duties earlier.
“Under normal circumstances that (what Sascoc are proposing) would be the case. This however is extremely abnormal. This is something Sascoc failed to start with. That’s why we are at this point. We are at the point of intervention. We have gone a long way on this matter. We cannot go back. I have communicated to Sascoc. We don’t want interference, opposition or obstruction.”
But the MC opposed the amendments, leaving the ball in the minister’s court.