DA responds to Nathi Mthethwa intervention notice: 'CSA board must fall on its sword'

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Nathi Mthethwa. (Photo by Carl Fourie/Gallo Images)
Nathi Mthethwa. (Photo by Carl Fourie/Gallo Images)
  • The DA has called on the CSA board to fall on its sword for its failure to address challenges in South African cricket.
  • Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa issued a public notice stating his intent to intervene into CSA, unless compelling reasons to the contrary are provided by them by 27 October.
  • The DA, however, says government intervention could place SA cricket at the risk of an ICC ban and proposes an independent committee investigates.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on the Cricket South Africa (CSA) board to "fall on its sword for its failure to address challenges in South African cricket despite numerous chances".

In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, the main opposition in parliament, whose members of the sports portfolio committee Tsepo Mhlongo and Willem Faber were highly critical of CSA at Tuesday's meeting, the DA accused CSA of trying to "whitewash" the Fundudzi Forensic Services report.

Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa shocked South African sport on Wednesday morning when he released a public notice to CSA stating his intentions to intervene into cricket and gave them 14 days to respond with compelling reasons why he should not.

This came after failed attempts by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) to institute a task team intervention at CSA, at the minister's behest, which CSA blocked by refusing to hand over the Fundudzi report without an NDA clause annexed.

The DA, however, said Mthethwa's intervention would open up the country to possible suspension by the International Cricket Council (ICC), which frowns upon government intervention in the sport.

In its constitution, the ICC expressly says:

Each member nation must manage its affairs autonomously and ensure that there is no government (or other public or quasi-public body) interference in its governance, regulation and/or administration of Cricket in its Cricket Playing Country (including in operational matters, in the selection and management of teams, and in the appointment of coaches or support personnel).

The DA said in their statement:

"DA calls for independent investigation as CSA government intervention could open door to political interference.

"The DA notes the decision by the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa to give a notice of government intervention to the International Cricket Council (ICC) in the affairs of Cricket South Africa (CSA).

"This intervention by government is far from ideal, as it could open the door to political interference at CSA. We trust that no decisions will be made without the applicable response from the ICC.

"The DA maintains that the appointment of an independent committee to investigate the ongoing challenges within CSA would be a much better option. Urgent intervention is required to address the financial, administrative and management challenges that the CSA board has failed to turn around."

The DA believes that CSA has been given ample time to self-correct and that they have failed, up to this point, to do so.

The minister’s decision came hot on the heels of a heated sport portfolio committee sitting where CSA were grilled on the full Fundudzi report by the committee MPs.

The ANC’s Nocks Seabi said at the close of the briefing:

"I wanted to suggest, as a way forward, we support the intervention by Sascoc.

"We really appeal to CSA to cooperate with Sascoc. We also advise that the minister must be closer to the process, because CSA is a public entity, and they are running cricket on behalf of South Africans.

"If there is a need for government to intervene, in the interest of South Africans, we do so. That's my proposal as a way forward."

In their statement, the DA said CSA board members must carry the can for the crisis and downfall of the organisation:

"The CSA board must carry the blame for this government intervention - cricket in South Africa is in this situation because the board chose to ignore several calls to submit itself to administrative intervention.

"Instead of playing open cards, the board also chose to table a whitewashed forensic report into its affairs which effectively attempts to scapegoat one person for the crisis within CSA. All board members and executives, past and present, who were involved in CSA’s maladministration should be investigated, as the blame cannot be laid solely at the feet of one man.

"The CSA board must fall on its sword for its failure to address challenges in South African cricket despite numerous chances to do so and submit itself to a full, transparent and independent investigation."

Mhlongo told Sport24:

"We have given them sufficient time to self correct. They're stubborn."

This is a developing story …

- Compiled by Sibusiso Mjikeliso

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