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TIMELINE | How CSA came apart at the seams and plunged cricket into crisis

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Nathi Mthethwa. (Photo by Carl Fourie/Gallo Images)
Nathi Mthethwa. (Photo by Carl Fourie/Gallo Images)
  • Cricket South Africa's chaos wasn't bred overnight, but through a series of events that led to Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa enforcing section 13 of the Sports Act on CSA.
  • At the 17 April Special General Meeting, the members' council vetoed amendments to the MOI that would have allowed a majority independent board to be elected.
  • How did it come to this? The timeline below details events that led to CSA teetering on the de-recognition precipice.


Cricket South Africa (CSA) didn't implode overnight, nor was Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa's decision to enforce section 13 of the National Sports and Recreation Act a hasty decision.

It was through a series of events. CSA came apart bit by bit, and this timeline, starting from former CSA president Chris Nenzani's resignation on 17 August, explains how the downward spiral has happened:

2020

17 August - Cricket South Africa president Chris Nenzani resigns.

No reasons are given for Nenzani's exit, but prior to this CSA's board had appeared before the parliamentary sports portfolio committee on 19 June where Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa rebuked the organisation for lack of transformation. At that same meeting, Nenzani said CSA would submit the Fundudzi Forensic Report on 30 June. It was a deadline they would miss. On the same day Nenzani fell on his sword, then-acting chief executive officer Jacques Faul also resigned, citing an inability to do his job properly. Nenzani and Faul were replaced by Beresford Williams and Kugandrie Govender, respectively.

20 August - CSA acting president Williams fails to deliver Fundudzi report to Parliament.

Williams tells Parliament that the Fundudzi report isn't ready for viewing. The report came with a non-disclosure form that needed to be signed by whoever wanted to view its contents. The deadline Nenzani had set for the readiness of the report was 30 June, with Williams citing that they (the board) did not have enough time to view the report either.

10 September - SASCOC steps into cricket, asks the CSA board to step aside.

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) requests CSA's board to step aside for a task team that would be paid for by CSA. Sascoc's step in rights were backed up by section 13 (4) of the National Sport and Recreation Act 110 of 1998 and articles 11.3.1 and 13.3.12 of the Sascoc's Constitution. It also transpired that SASCOC was acting at the Sports Minister's behest.

11 September - CSA counters SASCOC step-in.

CSA sought legal advice regarding Sascoc's step-in intentions, saying they disagreed with the resolution taken by the Olympic body.

"CSA‚ including its members’ council‚ does not agree with the resolution taken by Sascoc and has not had the opportunity to engage with Sascoc on various issues raised in the communication," CSA's board said in a late-night statement.

12 September - SASCOC explains step-in to the ICC.

In response to CSA's intransigence, Sascoc then wrote to the International Cricket Council (ICC) explaining CSA's stubbornness with releasing the Fundudzi report and why they needed to intervene in CSA's matters.

15 September - SASCOC and CSA smoke peace pipe but no sight of Fundudzi report.

Sascoc and CSA resolve their differences and decide to work together, but two days later, at a press conference, the divide between the organisations is clear as CSA remain steadfast with regards to not releasing the report without an NDA being signed.

25 September - Sascoc's acting president Aleck Sikhosana refuses to budge on NDA.

Sikhosana makes it clear that they want unrestricted access to the Fundudzi forensic report.

3 October - Mthethwa steps up involvement in CSA-SASCOC deadlock.

CSA, Mthethwa and Sascoc meet to chart a path forward. Two days before, Mthethwa had met with CSA and told them to comply with any directive given to them by Sascoc.

13 October - Parliament calls for Williams' head.

After receiving copies of the Fundudzi report, acquiescing to CSA's NDA demands, sports portfolio committee members call for acting president Williams to resign after he was implicated in Thabang Moroe's appointment as CSA CEO in 2018, which Fundudzi found procedural flaws in. Moroe was found not to have met the minimum requirements to hold the position. Williams was also implicated in terms of his involvement in the FinCom meeting where his former union Western Province were given a R5 million CSA loan.

14 October - Mthethwa serves notice to intervene into CSA.

Mthethwa serves CSA with notice of a planned intervention and gives the board until 27 October to accede to his request and resign from their positions. The request came after two bruising meetings that did not come with a resolution.

23 October - CSA director Dheven Dharmalingham jumps ship.

Dheven Dharmalingham, one of the four remaining independent directors on the 12-person board, resigns.

25, 26, 27, 30 October - CSA board dissolves, interim board appointed.

CSA's entire board resigns, with Rihan Richards being appointed as the members' council acting president. The action paves the way for the interim board that Mthethwa appointed on 30 October. The board included retired Justice Zak Yacoob, Haroon Lorgat, Omphile Ramela‚ Judith February‚ Professor Andre Odendaal‚ Dr Stavros Nicolaou‚ Xolani Vonya‚ Andile Mbatha and Caroline Mampuru.

12 November - CSA Members' council pushes back against interim board.

The members' council fires the interim board, citing a lack of trust between them and the temporary governing body. This was the beginning of a string of counter-actions between cricket's two centres of power.

13 November - Threats of government intervention.

Mthethwa again threatens the members' council with government intervention, putting the looming England tour to SA on the brink of collapse. The Proteas, at this juncture, had not played an international since the Covid-19 induced March lockdown. Three days later, the MC finally accept the interim board and formally appoint the structure as directors on 17 November.

25 November - The interim board resolves to make the Fundudzi report public.  

1 December - CSA's company secretary Welsh Gwaza is suspended following the Fundudzi report findings against him.

2 December - The interim board is accused of suspending Gwaza without a board resolution. 

8 December - Interim board infighting ensues over Haroon Lorgat's involvement.

Interim board member Omphile Ramela calls for fellow board member Lorgat to be removed from the board. Lorgat is a former ICC and CSA chief executive officer, which are seen as conflicts by some directors.

14 December - CSA's acting CEO Kugandrie Govender is suspended. 

15 December - Ramela is removed from the interim board while fellow board member Xolani Vonya is suspended from the board.

2021

20 January - Ramela launches court action against interim board.

27 January - Interim board and members' council meet over proposed MOI amendments per Nicholson's 2012 recommendations. 

They sort out who will be representing the bodies in MOI discussions, and Sascoc is invited to be part of the process.

1 February - The MOI working group from the members' council and interim board agree on several principles and convey the message to Sascoc.

8 February - Sascoc withdraw from the process after meeting with the working group on 3 February. 

They tell Mthethwa that they will engage with him on a CSA turnaround strategy.

16 February - The first draft of the MoI that was completed is shared with the members' council.

11 March - CSA's members' council show reticence over proposed MOI 

The interim board writes a letter to the members' council, Professor Michael Katz and the ministry, expressing their frustration with the pulling back from the members' council. 

14 March - CSA set a date for SGM where the amended MOI is expected to be adopted.

The members' council and Professor Katz have a dedicated session with positive feedback, while two days earlier, correspondence with members' council affirms the April 17 date for the special general meeting.

16 March - Interim board writes a letter to members' council on sorting out process for the much-anticipated 17 April meeting.

30 March - Sensing another round of fighting, Mthethwa warns MC to adopt MOI.

The meeting between interim board, members' council and Mthethwa takes place, with Mthethwa issuing a final warning to members' council to accept the MOI. The next day, the members' council request an extension from Mthethwa, which they get for 8 April.

8 April - Mthethwa deems members' council response to be unacceptable. 

The next day, members' council chairman Richards and Nicolaou meet with the minister's advisors and minister. The parties agree to a majority independent board and independent chairperson, along with the 17 April special general meeting date. The interim board confirms the dates. The interim board also requests final MOI inputs from the members' council by 12 April.

12 April - The members' council writes to the interim board requesting clarity on aspects of the MOI. 

The interim board responds on 13 April, clarifying the proposed new board composition. Mthethwa also writes to SASCOC to stop them from interfering.

15 April - As the SGM nears, so does SASCOC's involvement.

A members' council letter with MOI input is immediately attended to, while the day before, the members' council issues from 12 April are dealt with. On 16 April, documentation and notice are circulated while SASCOC requests to be part of the meeting.

17 April -The proposed MOI fails to reach the required number of votes to pass at the SGM.  

The SGM goes ahead, where SASCOC president Hendricks makes a speech. The 14 presidents then vote on the MOI amendments and the implementation of a majority independent board, with six voting for, five against and three abstentions.

19 April - Mthethwa again threatens CSA members' council.

Mthethwa issues an ultimatum to the members' council, telling them to reconsider their stance and gives them until 20 April to respond. On 20 April, the members' council explain their version of events, saying they weren't given enough time by the interim board to go through the MOI.

22 April - In a virtual press conference, Nicolaou explains the timelines to the build-up to the SGM and how they kept the members' council informed.

23 April - Mthethwa informs Richards and Nicolaou he intends on enforcing section 13 and will inform the ICC of his intention to strip CSA of national recognition.

The move places CSA at the brink of international suspension, setting off alarms among the organisation's staff and the cricket-loving public.

25 April - After a day-long meeting that stretched into the late hours of Sunday evening, members' council and the interim board reach an agreement on adopting the amended MOI.

Talks that began at 10:00 were described as being "like the Timeless Test", culminating in a CSA statement released at 23:35. "This agreement will now trigger an expedited process to adopt the MOI in terms of the Companies Act (s60) within 48 hours," CSA said in their late-night statement. Cricket stakeholders hold their breath for 48 hours, awaiting final signatures on the new MOI.

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