CSA sponsor calls for resignations of Moroe, Nenzani

Chris Nenzani (Gallo Images)
Chris Nenzani (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Another Cricket South Africa (CSA) partner, the Willowton Group, has called for CEO Thabang Moroe to step down from his role.

This comes after a disastrous few days for the organisation following Moroe's decision to revoke the media accreditation of five cricket journalists over the weekend because of how they were covering the ongoing issues at CSA. 

Moroe has since backtracked on the decision and apologised profusely to all involved, but it has not stopped the public outcry. 

Former CSA leaders like Ali Bacher and Norman Arendse have expressed their concern over the current state of the leadership while the South African Cricketers Association (SACA) says it is considering taking protest action unless change takes place. 

The biggest bombshell for CSA, however, came on Monday when Standard bank - sponsors of the men's Test and ODI sides - publicly declared their grievances with the administration and called an emergency meeting. 

The CSA Board and Moroe are now set to meet in Johannesburg on Saturday. 

On Thursday, meanwhile, the Willowton Group, who owns Sunfoil, penned a letter to CSA calling for both Moroe and CSA president Chris Nenzani to step down. 

Sunfoil used to operate as the title sponsor of the Sunfoil Series - South Africa's premier four-day first-class competition, while it also sponsored home Test cricket until mid-2018. 

Since then, though, the Pietermaritzburg-based cooking oil manufacturer has remained involved with CSA at a grassroots level through the Sunfoil Education Trust.

In addition, they have development deals with Gauteng, Western Province and KZN Cricket. 

"Our deals with CSA are in place for some time to come, but they operate largely on good faith," a Willowton Group spokesperson told Sport24 on Thursday.

"At the moment, it is safe to say that that good faith is being tested."

The open letter read as follows:

Dear CSA,

Willowton Group, manufacturers of Sunfoil Cooking Oil, write this letter with grave concern over the state of affairs that have transpired within Cricket South Africa over recent months.

Our direct involvement in cricket spans nearly a decade and continues today in the grassroot development structures at provincial levels and through the Sunfoil Education Trust.

During our tenure as headline sponsor to the international test series and 4-day domestic series, we valued the relationships that were created with past and current players, that were both active in the game and administration. Their passion for the game of cricket and good governance created an environment that allowed the national team and fellow South Africans to focus on the game out on the pitch and not the side games that are so prevalent today.

These same passionate individuals have been cast out of the organisation and suspended without real cause or substantiation.

As has been widely publicised already in the media we note with serious concern the following and not limited to:

- The revoking of media accreditations of well-respected cricket writers

- The breakdown between Cricket South Africa and SACA (South African Cricketers Association)

- The suspension of the three senior Cricket South Africa employees

- The mishandling of the Director of Cricket issue

- Bringing Cricket South Africa into disrepute

- Poor corporate governance by Cricket South Africa

- The poor handling of the WPCA (Western Province Cricket Association) matter

- The restructuring of the domestic competitions

- Failure to appoint a lead independent director to the board

- The concentration of power given to the CEO to make key appointments and decisions

We have also seen players choose ‘kolpak’ deals over playing for their country, partly due to the discontent between the players association and the administrators.

We wish to call CSA to immediate order and for the “decision making” individuals within the organisation to strongly consider whether they are best suited to their positions.

Therefore, we the Willowton Group call for the following immediate actions to be taken:

- Immediate resignation of the CEO of Cricket South Africa

- Immediate resignation of the President of Cricket South Africa

- Immediate reinstatement of the three suspended Cricket South Africa officials

- Immediate reappointment of the two board members who have resigned

- Immediate appointment of a lead independent director

- Immediate independent audit and review to be conducted on Cricket South Africa 

- Compiled by Lloyd Burnard

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