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Sun Oct 23 09:51:23 CAT 2016

Lorgat kept Phangiso disciplinary under wraps because of ‘black African player issue’

Khanyiso Tshwaku | 21 January, 2016 14:02
Aaron Phangiso walks to the nets during a South African nets session at Basin Reserve on March 10, 2015 in Wellington, New Zealand.
Image by: Hagen Hopkins / Getty Images

Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) board was only informed about disciplinary action against spin bowler Aaron Phangiso‚ who got drunk on an international flight last year‚ the day before the story was published in the media at the weekend.

In an email exchange seen by TMG Digital‚ some board members complained they were being kept in the dark over the issue.

It also emerged that Phangiso was seeing a clinical psychologist as part of his sanction.

Board members were notified of the incident‚ which took place in October when the Proteas ODI squad were returning from India‚ on Saturday. The story appeared in Rapport the following day.

CSA spokesperson Altaaf Kazi sent an email to the board on Saturday afternoon notifying them of the impending story and the internal disciplinary proceedings.

Independent director Vusi Pikoli’s response was one of surprise and shock at how the incident was hidden from the board.

“I have no recollection of a disciplinary process against Phangiso. The matter never served before the SEC (Social and Ethics Committee) and the Audit Committee. I would be happy to hear that I am wrong‚” Pikoli responded.

CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat acknowledged the board and the various committees had not been notified as that has been saved for next week’s board meeting where he is due to deliver his report.

“The incident occurred at the end of October when the Proteas ODI players were returning home from India after the ODI series.

“The matter was dealt with in terms of the usual player disciplinary process stipulated in our agreement with Saca (South African Cricketers’ Association).

“Phangiso had pleaded guilty to the charges and the parties have agreed the sanction to include consultations with a clinical psychologist to help him with his issue‚” Lorgat said.

“I had kept the president informed and‚ in view of the BA (black African) player issue that had surfaced at that time‚ we had both agreed that we should contain this matter and also not issue the standard media release.”

Lorgat on Wednesday directed all questions to Kazi‚ who said Phangiso’s sanctions‚ along with him seeing a clinical psychologist‚ were of a confidential nature.

“There was a confidentiality agreement entered into between Aaron and CSA so I can’t talk about his sanctions.

“In terms of the clinical psychologist part‚ that’s something you need to ask team management because those things are confidential between the organisational employee and the player‚” Kazi said.

“It’s similar to the doctor-patient agreement where the information remains confidential but I don’t know much about the DC because it’s an operational matter and we don’t sit on the DC and it’s a separate process.”

Attempts to draw comment from Proteas team doctor and manager Mohammed Moosajee drew a blank at the time of going to print.

Board member Thabang Moroe’s concerns on the reasons behind Phangiso’s behaviour were quickly assuaged by lead independent director Norman Arendse‚ who said the issue should wait for the next board meeting.

Arendse was scathing with his assessment on how the matter has been handled.

“I think it was wrong not to disclose this issue to the board when it first surfaced; it’s a reputational issue.

“The best way to deal with issues (even those ostensibly operational) is to do so openly and transparently‚” Arendse said.

“There seems to be a management culture in CSA that these issues must be ‘managed’. They can’t be because these issues always leak to the media. When they do‚ it reflects negatively on the board.”

Kazi said the board would be informed of the matter at the next meeting since the last one was in September.

He added there was no board meeting last month.


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