CSA interim board seeks to remove ex-cricketer Ramela, suspends Vonya

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Omphile Ramela at the Lions.
Omphile Ramela at the Lions.
(Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

  • The CSA interim board has sought to remove former cricketer Omphile Ramela as director, with Xolani Peter Vonya also suspended from the new leadership structure.
  • Ramela is alleged to have been "obstructive" and "refused to accept majority decisions".
  • Vonya’s suspension stems from allegations made against him by his former union, Easterns.

The Cricket South Africa (CSA) interim board has brought proceedings against its own members, including former batter Omphile Ramela, seeking to remove him from the structure.

Former Eastern Cricket Union (Easterns) president Xolani Peter Vonya has also been "recused" from the board after his former union made allegations against him that weren’t specified.

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Interim board chair Judge Zak Yacoob confirmed to media during a virtual press conference on Thursday morning that Ramela was facing possible expulsion from the board that was elected by Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa and that Vonya was suspended.

Yacoob alleged that Ramela, who was the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) representative on the board, and SACA president, was "obstructive" and "refused to accept majority decisions".

"We have brought proceedings against one director … Mr Ramela, and he can come before us represented by an attorney and make the case against his removal," said Yacoob.

"But the case for his removal has been made. He is very unhappy about that and he has to fight it and he uses the press."

Yacoob was asked to elaborate on the reasons behind Ramela’s suspension.

He said: "Ramela has been generally obstructive in relation to board matters.

"Generally, he defended the indefensible and refusing to accept the majority. He seems to make a distinction between what is right and majority decisions.

"And if he feels majority decisions are wrong, then he can continue to fight about them for hours and hours.

"He does not have the discipline to accept majority decisions. He has been obstructive in relation to every difficult decision we have had to take.

"It has virtually [been] impossible to deal with him. The chance of the board finishing our work was lessened by these obstructive tactics."

Yacoob also added more information behind Vonya’s suspension, who resigned from Easterns shortly after a CSA-commissioned Judge Bernard Ngoepe report found there was a "fishing expedition" to oust Vonya from the East Rand union.

"We have recused another director, Mr Vonya, and that too the members’ council seemed very unhappy about," Yacoob said.

"We’ve recused him on the basis that there were very serious allegations against him.

"Easterns people made representations to us and the allegations against him were very serious and went down to him bottom level honesty.

"Therefore, we came to the conclusion that without thinking and suggesting that any of the allegations against him have been proved, we thought it would be safer to recuse him.

"Six members decided to recuse him and one member, who has not given us permission to mention the name, has abstained. The other two (Ramela and Vonya) didn’t take part."

Yacoob added that he believed there were obstructive "tactics" by Ramela to get in the way of the interim board’s work, who have been given three months by Mthethwa to clean up cricket.

"In my own view, not that of the board, I suspect that the obstructive tactics have been specifically designed to hold up the board, so that we can do very little in the three months.

"I want to say that every such obstructive tactic will fail miserably," said Yacoob.

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