Proteas

CSA crisis | Parliament calls for Beresford Williams' head, questions Thabang Moroe's CEO appointment

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Beresford Williams (Gallo)
Beresford Williams (Gallo)
  • Acting CSA president Beresford Williams is under intense pressure to step down after being implicated in another adverse finding in the Fundudzi report.
  • CSA met parliament on Tuesday, where sport portfolio committee members ripped into the organisation regarding the malaise uncovered by Fundudzi.
  • MPs revealed that Fundudzi alleged irregularities in former CEO Thabang Moroe's appointment to the post in 2018, who did not meet the minimum requirements for the job.

Parliament has called for board members who were implicated in the Fundudzi Forensic Services report into Cricket South Africa (CSA), chiefly acting president Beresford Williams, to step down while the organisation further investigates the findings of the report.

At an explosive, four-hour meeting with the parliamentary sports portfolio committee meeting on Tuesday, where Williams was asked to leave the virtual meeting as he was implicated in the report, MPs laid into the findings that tainted Williams.

MPs that were well-versed on the full report, which was handed to parliament last Friday, questioned now-axed CSA CEO Thabang Moroe’s appointment into the position in 2018 after acting for a year.

Parliament revealed that the Fundudzi report found there were alleged irregularities in Moroe’s appointment by the board on a three-year contract, as he did not meet the minimum requirements for the position.

“On the case of the previous CEO, Moroe, what I saw in the report, I need to know … Moroe did not have the qualifications to become the CEO. I need to understand, how did that slip through the bucket?” asked committee member Willem Faber.

“This is why we sit with the situation that we sit with. It’s not always that we have to appoint nice guys. I know a lot of nice guys but you need qualified people and he did not have the criteria, the requirements as per what Cricket South Africa had [advertised].

“How does it happen, then, that such a person get appointed as CEO if he did not have the criteria? Those persons that let that happen must also be taken on.”

Chair of CSA’s audit and risk committee, Marius Schoeman, who took over as the lead speaker for the organisation following Williams’ ejection, did not dispute the irregularities found by Fundudzi on Moroe’s appointment and questioned by Faber.

“Yes, honourable member, you are correct,” said Schoeman.

“It’s a finding that I find astonishing. One has minimum requirements and the report also indicates that the advertisement was different from the job description.

“In my experience, those are things that should not happen. I must reflect and be honest with you on the report, if you look at page 234, you’ll see the people that were in the meeting.

“All but Beresford Williams have since resigned. That committee consisted of Iqbal Khan, Dawn Mokhobo, Louis von Zeuner and Tando Ganda. The only member that is still on the board is Beresford Williams.”

As the last remaining member of the committee that appointed Moroe to the CEO position, Williams has come under intense pressure to step down from CSA’s board.

Williams has expressed designs on running for the vacant CSA presidency, set to be voted on at the AGM set for late November or early December.

However, with the implications in wrongdoing mounting, it is unclear how his position on the besieged organisation can remain tenable.

Williams is also implicated in the Fundudzi report in terms of his involvement in the finance committee (FinCom) meeting where it was approved by himself and Khan to award a R5 million loan to Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA).

Fundudzi’s summary report said: “Williams was the WPCA President prior to being appointed as CSA Vice President and should have identified a potential conflict of interest and recused himself from sitting in the FinCom meeting that approved the R5 million loan application by WPCA.

"The fact that Williams sat in the meeting and decided not to participate in the deliberation and approval of the R5 million loan to WPCA is evidence that he appreciated the fact that he was conflicted.”

In trying to justify the CSA decision to keep the board in its current composition until the AGM, Schoeman revealed that the Members’ Council took the decision (believed to have been taken at last Thursday’s meeting) to let the tainted board members to remain on the board.

At this meeting, said Schoeman, non-independent board directors were asked to recuse themselves before the decision was taken by the rest of the Members’ Council members that didn’t serve on the board.

“When the Members’ Council decided not to ask the board to step down, it did not include the Members’ Council that are serving on the board,” said Schoeman.

“The board members were asked to recuse themselves from the meeting when Members’ Council made that resolution.

“It is very important that we understand that the board members that conflicted are most definitely not involved in the investigation.

“The only thing that where they would get involved in, is when they are engaged on to get their side of the story.”

However, MPs were having none of it and accused CSA’s Members’ Council of being the “player and referee” in this situation.

“It is clear from Marius that there’s a conflict of interest in the decision to recommend that the board must remain in place - that decision is biased and uncalled for,” said Tsepo Mhlongo.

“You cannot serve on the Members’ Council and the board. There is a conflict at the end of the day. Personally, I don’t support that recommendation. You cannot clean yourself. You cannot redeem yourself. You cannot investigate yourself.

“You cannot be a player and a referee. We are calling for an independent body to take this report and investigate and come with recommendations.”

Said Faber: “I also agree with Mhlongo that you can’t have players and referees on the same level.

“I would suggest that the board members that are implicated do not take part in their own investigation.”

*This article is an updated version that excludes some CSA board members' names.

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