Proteas

Thabang Moroe latest: Validity of Cricket SA boss's charges questioned

Thabang Moroe (Gallo)
Thabang Moroe (Gallo)
  • After seven months suspended, Cricket SA CEO Thabang Moroe's legal representative has questioned the validity of the original reports that allege misconduct.
  • A well-placed source inside cricket claims the social and ethics, as well as audit and risk committees' reports, which served the basis for Moroe's suspension, did not exist.
  • CSA has reportedly changed forensic audit terms of reference to exclude Board and Members Council decisions and solely focus on Moroe's.
  • Moroe's attorney Michael Motsoeneng Bill called it "a naked attempt to pursue" his client.

The validity of Cricket South Africa's (CSA's) ethics and audit committees' reports, which served as the basis for CEO Thabang Moroe's suspension, has been called into question.

This comes after seven months passed following Moroe's suspension in December without him being formally charged or notified of the nature of the alleged misconduct charges.

Moroe's lawyer, Michael Motsoeneng Bill, told Sport24 that they had so far seen "nothing of the sort" pertaining to the charges relating to Moroe's alleged misconduct and called it a "a naked attempt to pursue" his client.

"I've been a lawyer for a long time but I've never seen such a naked attempt to pursue one man and ignore all other evidence that might be relevant in addressing the alleged governance issues," Bill said.

"But let's entertain the silly idea that there is a report that implicates my client: why did it just stop at suspension if it existed at the time of suspension?

"This is not a volumes game. If somebody has done wrong, even one wrong, that's enough to deal with them, so you don't have to accumulate the numbers. Your case does not improve by finding a thousand [infractions]. It's not that kind of game.

"If the evidence was so compelling to justify suspension, why have we not seen it and why have we not been charged?"

A well-placed source within cricket said there was "no report" that led to Moroe's suspension. It contradicts CSA's claim when it suspended him that:

"The decision to place Moroe on precautionary suspension follows from the reports received by the social and ethics committee and the audit and risk committee of the board related to possible failure of controls in the organisation."

Moroe was apparently suspended telephonically in December, according to the source.

Professor Steve Cornelius, who chairs CSA's ethics committee, referred queries to president Chris Nenzani, who in turn referred Sport24 questions to spokesperson Michael Owen-Smith.

Owen-Smith said: "We will release a media statement later this week once all processes are done."

Last weekend, the Sunday Times reported that CSA went as far as amending the terms of reference for the external forensic investigation into cricket's affairs to exclude decisions made by or approved by the board and solely focus on Moroe's conduct. Nenzani denied the allegations made in the report.

On 6 March this year CSA appointed Fundudzi Forensic Services to audit decisions involving the CEO and the board that led to sponsors rebuking the organisation and main Proteas sponsor Standard Bank jumping ship.

CSA told Parliament last month the investigation was to determine whether appropriate actions were taken involving the following:

  • Management and Board of Directors adhered to governance framework.
  • Effectiveness of internal controls and other irregularities.
  • Key sub-committee processes - board approvals.
  • Completeness and adherence to key policies.
  • Completeness and correctness of management reports over 12 months.
  • Whether CSA’s funds were used for intended purposes.
  • Whether decisions were made in the interest of CSA.

Nenzani confirmed to media on 16 June that the scope of the forensic investigation included a review of board decisions.

"It had to be the Members Council that appointed the forensic investigation, so that even the decisions taken by the board should be subject to the investigation itself; and whether the board took the decision that it ought to have taken at the point of making such decisions," Nenzani said at the time.

Bill questioned how the board could be exempt from the forensic investigation into cricket.

"As an accounting officer, the CEO accounts to and reports to the board," Bill said.

"There is no decision you can take without the board. In fact, you don't make decisions. You are more of the executor of the governance structure, whereby the authority takes the decision and you execute it.

"Yes, you sit on the board but you serve your board."

His words were echoed by former Central Gauteng Lions (CGL) president and former Members Council member Jack Madiseng, who, speaking to SAFM's Thabiso Mosia on Monday, said Moroe never acted independently of the board.

"Moroe never acted independently," Madiseng said.

"He [took] his actions from the board and from the Members Council and cannot go out there without their approval. Whatever he executes is a mandate of the board or the Members Council."

On the same radio programme, Bill said CSA were on a "fishing expedition".

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