Calls for CSA board to be disbanded are 'nonsense', says EC cricket boss

12 December 2019 - 06:10 By Tiisetso Malepa
Marius Schoeman, Chris Nenzani, Beresford Williams and Zola Thamae during a CSA briefing in Johannesburg on December 7. The future of the CSA board remains uncertain.
Marius Schoeman, Chris Nenzani, Beresford Williams and Zola Thamae during a CSA briefing in Johannesburg on December 7. The future of the CSA board remains uncertain.
Image: Johan Rynners/Gallo Images

The embattled Cricket SA (CSA) board is “doing a good job and is going nowhere” — and calls for it to be dissolved are “nonsense”.

This was the emphatic statement made by Eastern Province Cricket president Donovan May on Wednesday, as the CSA board appeared to enjoy majority support from the powerful members’ council.

May, who sits on the board as a non-independent director, emphasised that the 14-member council has thrown its weight behind the Chris Nenzani-led board.

“I am in full support of the board. I find nothing wrong with the board at all and I actually think that they have been doing a good job,” May told TimesLIVE.

“The board is united and the members’ council has given us the green light, as you heard the president say at our AGM at the weekend. It is the media which is driving this thing [calls for the removal of the board]. It is the media that is crucifying us.”

May said the majority of provinces expressed their support for the board during the AGM at the weekend.

The CSA board will face stiff — albeit lone — opposition from the Central Gauteng Lions (CGL). The CGL resolved last week at their meeting in Johannesburg that “the entire CSA board, inclusive of its CEO Thabang Moroe, must resign with immediate effect”.

A Johannesburg-based law firm offered to launch a court application on behalf of CGL to have the CSA directors declared delinquent and removed from office

The unnamed firm also offered to cover the cost of the application, including advocates' costs.

CGL CEO Jono Leaf-Wright confirmed to TimesLIVE on Wednesday that the union received a letter from a Johannesburg-based law firm.

“Yes we have received the letter, but essentially we are going to decline the offer,” said Leaf-Wright.

“CGL would like to confirm that it will not take up the offer. We will do this [maintain our position that the CSA board must resign with immediate effect] the Central Gauteng Lions way and not any other way,” he said. 

The CGL called for an interim board to be installed, the immediate appointment of senior management and an immediate forensic investigation into CSA affairs be undertaken.

On Monday, the SA Cricketers’ Association (Saca), which has been at loggerheads with CSA for almost a year, released two statements in a space of four days, calling for the immediate resignation of the CSA board.

May said Saca was “out of order” to make such a call.

“Saca have no right to call for the removal of the CSA board. The only people or body that can remove the CSA board is the members’ council, not the public and certainly not the media,” said May, adding that “the other unions are also not part of the call”.

“As the Eastern Province Cricket [president], I was supported by other unions. North West Cricket also said they are not part of this, so has South Western Districts (SWD), so has Limpopo, so has Northern Cape Cricket.”

Saca’s outgoing CEO, Tony Irish, did not respond to e-mailed questions and his mobile phone was either on voicemail or rang unanswered. 

Moroe was suspended on misconduct charges, albeit on full pay, on Friday, as CSA wilted under pressure from the public to act.

But the board announced that it would continue in office, despite growing calls for its removal. In a statement on Wednesday, it called for unity and said it had undertaken “a process of renewal”.

“We implore all stakeholders and lovers of cricket to assist us in this cause of revival, and that we allow the new acting CEO to lead the renewal process at CSA. Our focus as an organisation is to build healthy relationships with all our stakeholders — including investigating and resolving the challenges that have been identified,” said the board.

TimesLIVE put out calls to individual provincial unions and though the majority of them confirmed their support for the board to continue, many of the union presidents preferred not to be quoted, citing the sensitivity of the matter.


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