Proteas

CSA v Sascoc deadlock: Task force intervention proceeds, cricket body digs heels on Fundudzi Report

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Aleck Skhosana (Getty)
Aleck Skhosana (Getty)
  • Acting president Aleck Skhosana confirmed that Sascoc will be going ahead with their planned intervention, but they want the Fundudzi Report handed to them before proceeding.
  • Cricket SA said it hadn't changed its mind on withholding the Fundudzi Report because of legal implications.
  • Skhosana said Sascoc would "resort to other measures" to obtain the report on an unrestricted basis.

South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) acting president Aleck Skhosana confirmed that they were going ahead with the planned task team intervention into Cricket South Africa (CSA) despite continuous "positive" engagement.

The two bodies met this week to discuss the planned intervention, which hinges on, among many thorny points, the unrestricted release of the Fundudzi Forensic Services external audit into CSA's affairs dating back from 2016 to 2019.

CSA's Members' Council, made up of the 14 provincial presidents, met last weekend and were presented with the report. However, they had to sign non-disclosure agreements and were not allowed to retain copies of the report once the meetings concluded. 

Sascoc has refused to view the report under these prescripts, nor to view the report at the offices of CSA's legal representatives, Bowmans.

"Sascoc was promised the forensic report by the former CSA president (Chris) Nenzani in June already," Skhosana said during a joint virtual press conference on Thursday. 

"But this promise has been broken and the undertaking to do so breached. Sascoc’s concern is that, notwithstanding the report having been discussed with the Members’ Council, we simply cannot be certain that there would have been proper consultation with the members’ respective unions.

"The presidents act on a mandate from their respective (provincial) boards. How are they expected to obtain a proper mandate from their boards when they are not permitted to share the contents of a report that they commissioned?

"That is why the refusal to make the report available on an unrestricted basis is both irrational and unreasonable.

"It should be construed that Sascoc is intervening merely to force the forensic report being made public. We have given the CSA Members’ Council and undertaking that the report, once received, will only be discussed between the (Sascoc) board and its advisory team and will not be published.

"Sascoc respects the rights of the persons implicated in the report. However, Sascoc awaits the report as a demonstration that CSA is co-operating with the investigation.

"Should the report still not be forthcoming, then unfortunately Sascoc will have no alternative but to resort to other measures that we’re not going to deal with here (press conference). We will make sure there is full compliance."

CSA also dug their heels with regards to the unrestricted release of the report, saying there were legal implications that would come back to bite the organisation because of the people named in the Fundudzi report, who still served in the company in various roles.

Acting CSA president Beresford Williams, however, said they were still engaging with Sascoc to resolve the stalemate around the report, which showed no signs of breaking at the joint press conference.

"The engagement with Sascoc has been very positive," said Williams.

"We’ve been in great dialogue in meetings between the parties. We value the role Sascoc plays within the sporting community and there’s no doubt that together, we will find common ground on most of the matters.

"Our engagements and dialogue has been very constructive and we’ve made good ground on the matters. That’s going good and that’s very appreciative.

"I want to state clearly that we have a fiduciary duty to cricket as board members. The Members’ Council resolved that the forensic report they received will also be made available under the same conditions.

"We offered to make the summary report available and we would provide the necessary breakdown by our legal representatives and would be presented to the Sascoc board.

"We are clear that the report has been offered and we communicated with Sascoc a day ago and we await their formal feedback."

The make up of the Sascoc task team has yet to made available. Sascoc said it was waiting to receive the Fundudzi report in order to finalise its composition.

Skhosana doubled down on Sascoc's intentions to intervene, saying they were required by their constitution to step in having noted the negative report, public apathy and stakeholder and sponsors' concern with the goings on at CSA.

"CSA has already requested Sascoc for assistance," he said.

"The difference between their request and the Sascoc initiative is that CSA effectively wanted Sascoc to serve as some kind of sub-committee on the CSA board. Sascoc is not prepared to do so. We don’t want to be involved in the nitty-gritty affairs; all we want to do is to put a competent task team, with integrity and experience, to deal with issues.

"There can be no doubt that the public, current and ex-players, stakeholders and sponsors have lost all trust and confidence in the CSA board.

"This is evidenced by calls, on a daily basis, for the CSA board to step down or step aside. Sascoc has a duty to listen to these calls and to investigate the alleged issues and problems for themselves."

On Tuesday, ODI sponsors Momentum said it would not continue with its sponsorship once the current deal runs out next April but would continue sponsoring the Proteas Women's team until 2023.

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