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We have a 'workable solution' to resolve Cricket SA saga‚ Sascoc tell parliament's oversight committee

13 May 2021 - 16:20 By tiisetso malepa
Sport, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa. File image.
Sport, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa. File image.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

While Sascoc bemoaned what it held to be interference from sports minister Nathi Mthethwa‚ the sports controlling body called for further dialogue and said it has “a workable solution” that will resolve the raging saga involving Cricket South Africa (CSA).

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) also confirmed that its delegation will meet with the CSA members' council on Thursday evening to present the proposed solution.

This was revealed by a Sascoc delegation led by its president Barry Hendricks and acting CEO Ravi Govender as they appeared before parliament’s sports‚ arts and culture portfolio committee virtually on Wednesday to account on the CSA matter.

Sascoc said that the solution‚ which it did not elaborate on‚ would satisfy all the parties concerned.

But the sports controlling body stuck to its guns and reiterated its position that it rejects a majority independent board and an independent chairperson at CSA.

Govender was first up to brief the parliamentarians and presented a slide showing resolutions adopted at the macro sports body’s general council meeting on Saturday‚ which rejected a majority independent board and an independent chairperson at CSA.

The Sascoc general council‚ which was attended by 66 of the 89 members‚ unanimously passed four resolutions related to CSA with a single objection.

According to the slide presented by Govender, the following resolutions were adopted:

  • That the autonomy of the sports movement should be protected‚ in line with recent UN resolutions;
  • Sascoc is mandated to protect its member‚ Cricket SA. The differences are not with cricket but with interference by the minister;
  • The board of Sascoc must engage with CSA to ensure that the MOI (Memorandum of Incorporation) is compliant with Sascoc statutes. There can be no exception given to Cricket SA in this regard;
  • The board must continue to seek dialogue with the minister‚ the ICC and all stakeholders.

Hendricks then took centre stage and revealed without details the grand plan that the committee believes will please all the stakeholders.

“Sascoc does have an action plan and thinks it has a solution that will be amicable and agreeable to all parties‚” said Hendricks.

“We firmly believe in our hearts that we have a workable solution. We simply need to sit down and work on this solution.”

Hendricks went on to say Sascoc tried unsuccessfully on two occasions to set up a meeting with minister Mthethwa.

Mthethwa was not present and sent an apology, as he was engaged in a cabinet meeting. The minister was represented by his deputy Nocawe Mafu and director-general Vusi Mkhize and other department high-ranking officials.

“We have asked to meet with the minister on two occasions to discuss matters related to CSA. On both occasions we were told that the minister will meet us at his pleasure‚” said Hendricks.

Mkhize and deputy minister Mafu shot down Hendricks' assertions.

“The issue of meetings‚ as has been put by the Sascoc president‚ we will emphasise again that the minister has indicated that he will meet with them‚” said Mkhize.

“That does not in any way mean an unwillingness to meet with Sascoc. That notion is incorrect if it exists anywhere.

“The minister has made it very clear that he will meet with Sascoc.”

Mafu‚ and the majority of committee members‚ fully supported Mthethwa’s handling of the CSA matter but committed to engaging Sascoc.

“The minister is simply trying to implement‚” said an upbeat Mafu.

“If in the implementation process there is unhappiness, then I agree that there is a need for a continuous engagement.

“There is a need for dialogue between Sascoc and the ministry and even beyond the cricket issues.”

Hendricks responded and said Sascoc would gladly write another letter to the minister to request a meeting.

“I would do that today [Wednesday] because of the urgency of this matter.”

CSA adopted the controversial amendments in the MOI to allow for a majority independent board and an independent chairperson last month‚ which Sascoc is vehemently against.

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