Nathi Mthethwa tells CSA to comply with Sascoc’s demands, Newsline

JOHANNESBURG – Minister of Sport Art and Culture Nathi Mthethwa wants Cricket SA to comply with Sascoc’s demands for the Board and certain senior operational managers to step aside or he may sanction CSA in accordance with the National Sports and Recreation Act of 1998.

Part of the powers available to Mthethwa in the Act include no longer giving recognition to a federation, which in the case of Cricket SA could mean the Proteas no longer playing international matches.

Mthethwa met with Cricket SA on Thursday, and gave the federation until Tuesday (October 6) to comply with the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee’s demands.

A number of insiders told Independent Media that Mthethwa was wary of being seen to step in lest it be regarded as interference by the International Cricket Council – whose constitution forbids government intrusion in the affairs of its affiliates. However he made it clear to CSA’s leadership that “their fate was in their own hands.”

Cricket SA’s Members Council – the highest decision-making body in the organisation, comprising the provincial union presidents – and the Board of Directors – which has seven Members Council representatives sitting on it – were locked in a late night meeting on Friday, which is scheduled to continue all day on Saturday.

It is there that some kind of strategy needs to be drawn up to answer to the demands made by Sascoc which Mthethwa also supports. Those include being given access to the full forensic report compiled Fundudzi Forensic services without the need to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement, that Board and senior operational management, including company secretary Welsh Gwaza and acting CEO Kugandrie Govender, “step aside” while a task team investigates CSA.

Last week Sascoc told Mthethwa that it was getting nowhere with CSA and that there was a strong possibility it may end up in court because of CSA’s refusal to grant it access to report. Because Sascoc is cash strapped – it has made losses of R100-million a year in the last four years – it called on Mthethwa to either provide it with financial backing or to handle CSA himself.

Cricket SA is also scheduled to appear before parliament’s portfolio committee for sport, art and culture on Tuesday, where the forensic report is set to be one of the main topics of discussion.

Meanwhile CSA continues to operate as if all is normal. On Wednesday applications closed for individuals wishing to serve on the Board as independent directors. Cricket SA said that there were four vacancies, but that would not comply with the recommendations made in the Nicholson Inquiry which called for the majority of the board to comprise independent directors.

On Friday advertisements were also placed for three other positions; a legal advisor, committees assistant and PA to the Company secretary, Gwaza.

Cricket SA couldn’t say why Gwaza, who as company secretary is supposed to provide CSA with legal advice, now needed a legal advisor as well. According to the advertisement, the advisor would report to Gwaza.

It is understood that Gwaza informed the Board that his workload had “increased,” and “changed significantly,” hence the need for the advisor.