Proteas

'No problems' anticipated at CSA annual meeting but Sascoc hovers like boulder on cliff's edge

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CSA interim board chairperson Dr Stavros Nicolaou (Gallo)
CSA interim board chairperson Dr Stavros Nicolaou (Gallo)
  • The members' council and interim board expect "no problems" preventing Cricket South Africa's (CSA's) seminal annual general meeting from taking place on Saturday.
  • Sascoc resolved to "protect the autonomy of the sports movement" and rejected the proposed majority-independent CSA board composition.
  • To ensure the new board truly begins on a clean slate, none of the interim board members can stand for new directorship.

The members' council and interim board expect "no problems" preventing Cricket South Africa's (CSA) seminal annual general meeting from taking place on Saturday.

That is not to say there won't be any. The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) hovers precariously like a boulder on the edge of a cliff, ready to careen aside cricket's well-laid plans, should they wish.

Sascoc has not hidden its displeasure at CSA co-opting a new memorandum of incorporation that will usher in an independent majority board at Saturday's AGM, per Judge Chris Nicholson's 2012 requirements.

At its 8 May general council meeting, with CSA present, Sascoc resolved to "protect the autonomy of the sports movement" and rejected the proposed majority-independent CSA board composition.

READ | Cricket SA interim board hands over reins but legal battles linger

Sascoc was conspicuously absent at the interim board's report handover to Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Friday, where both closed their involvements in cricket should a new board be ratified.

Members' council chair Rihan Richards said they anticipated no problems at the AGM during the handover, despite the possibility of a Sascoc intervention unravelling the delicate work.

"There's no anticipated problem with regards to the AGM," said Richards.

"It's one of the matters that we need to conclude so that we move forward.

"I must categorically state that, when we circulated the notice of our AGM, we had circulated our MOI to Sascoc when we approved it at the end of April.

"We have forwarded them the MOI, and we had an engagement with them about two weeks ago around the approval of the matter.

"Naturally, we are aware of what the Sascoc constitution says, and we have submitted that. We are awaiting their response, which has not been forthcoming, but we are proceeding with our AGM as scheduled. 

"The interim board report is not a matter that has to be endorsed by Sascoc or by the members' council. A report remains just that until it's implemented, and that is where our role will come in."

The AGM will not only welcome a first-of-a-kind independent majority board in a South African sports federation but marks a decade-long process of extricating cricket from crises that have plagued the sport since the 2009 Indian Premier League (IPL) bonus scandal.

Nicholson's 2012 recommendations came from his official commission of inquiry into that IPL scandal, which saw the end of Gerald Majola's term as CEO but not the end of cricket's woes.

Despite former CSA president Chris Nenzani's board making assurances from 2013 that Nicholson's recommendations would be adopted, they prevaricated until another crisis hit cricket in 2019 and sponsors ran for the hills again.

Nenzani departed mid-storm last year, days before the AGM was initially scheduled for September as the heat dialled up on the Fundudzi Forensic Report's release.

That report was used to clean up CSA's administrative side, which led to numerous ill-begotten contracts getting cancelled and company secretary Welsh Gwaza axed, along with chief commercial officer Kugandrie Govender's suspension.

To ensure that the new board truly begins on a clean slate, none of the interim board members can stand for positions as new directors.

An independent panel interviewed and reviewed eight possible independent directors that form part of the 15-member board.

The other seven members will be made of five members' council representatives plus two CSA executives, the CEO and the CFO.

"None of the current interim board members are eligible to serve on the new board. So, even if they had an appetite, they can't," said interim board chair Stavros Nicolaou.

"This was done deliberately so that there would be no perceived or real conflict transferring from the current board into the new one.

"What this board did is lay the foundation. The new board needs to build the house now."

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