CSA crisis: Interim board says Members' Council has 'acted in bad faith'

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Haroon Lorgat.
Haroon Lorgat.
(Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)

The decision of Cricket South Africa's (CSA) Members' Council not to mandate the interim board that was unveiled by sports minister Nathi Mthethwa has plunged the organisation into administrative crisis once more. 

In a statement released on Thursday, the Members' Council confirmed that the decision to oppose the interim board was "down to a a breakdown in the relationship between the Members Council and the proposed Interim Board."

The interim board, made up on nine individuals and including former CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat, was assembled after the former board had resigned en masse under government pressure. 

The Members' Council remains, though, and the fact that Lorgat is on the interim board is a major cause of the concern. 

In a statement on Thursday, the interim board expressed its dissatisfaction at the decision. 

"The Board is in receipt of a letter from the Members' Council, dated 11 November 2020," the statement read. 

"That letter raised various issues about the way in which the Board was constituted and about conflicts of interest in relation to one Interim Board member, Mr. Haroon Lorgat. 

"Both these matters had been addressed at a meeting between the Board, the Members’ Council and the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Mr. Nathi Mthethwa on Sunday, 8 November 2020.

"The Board believed the matters were settled.

Regrettably, by refusing to confirm our mandate, the Members’ Council has shown itself unwilling to cooperate with this independent Board. We are of the view that the Members’ Council has acted in bad faith and contrary to the consensus it reached with minister Mthethwa at the end of October.

"In its communication, the Members’ Council requested the Board 'to cease engagement with or participation in the CSA operations, as well as cease to engage in any forum as representatives of CSA.'

"The Board has been hard at work for the past two weeks since being mandated by the minister to restore the credibility of CSA.

"It accepted this mandate publicly and with due care.

"The failures of corporate governance within Cricket SA are well-known and the cricket-loving public has watched Cricket SA lurch from crisis to crisis.

"The current situation is untenable and we are thus dismayed to be in receipt of what we can only describe as an obstructionist, legalistic letter from the Members’ Council while we have tried to put structures in place and hold individuals within CSA to account. We are of the view that the conduct of the Members’ Council is an attempt to stymie the work of our Board. 

"We are however determined to continue our work in the public interest and in the best interests of cricket in South Africa. We will not hesitate to  take decisive steps against those who would undermine the work of this Board. 

"This is crucial for the survival of cricket in South Africa and to restore public faith and confidence in the game. It is especially important given the busy Summer of cricket which lies ahead."

The Members' Council, meanwhile, was holding an emergency press conference on Thursday afternoon. 

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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