Letters from Cricket SA attorneys gag North West president from speaking about forensic report
Cricket South Africa (CSA) have served North West Cricket (NWC) president Dr Oupa Nkagisang with legal papers to stop the outspoken provincial leader from making relentless calls for the release of a forensic investigation report into a stadium upgrade project.
The letters - dated July 7‚ 13 and 18 - instructed Nkagisang to stop directly communicating with CSA and desist from engaging the governing body and its stakeholders in relation to the release of the forensic report.
TimesLIVE revealed this week that the forensic report was submitted to CSA by Deloitte on June 13‚ 2019.
The report cleared the NWC board‚ which was placed under administration in December 2018 after allegations of malfeasance in the stadium project.
But instead of reinstating the NWC board‚ CSA allegedly sat on the report until this week when a TimesLIVE investigation discovered its existence.
Asked why CSA has not released the forensic report 13 months after receiving it‚ acting CEO Dr Jacques Faul said he was not involved in the process despite being copied in all the correspondence Nkagisang sent in relation to the release of the report.
“The company secretary (Welsh Gwaza) works with the reports. I don’t‚ unfortunately‚” said Faul on Wednesday.
“You are welcome to direct those questions to the company secretary‚ he deals with all the governance matters. I respect his territory so he has to deal with that.”
In the letters‚ CSA insists that the matter be attended to directly between CSA attorneys and those representing Nkagisang.
Asked why CSA wrote such correspondence to Nkagisang‚ Faul at first claimed not to know of the letters.
“Since I don’t deal with this and I don’t write the letters‚ I would not know.
“I know you are looking for an angle to make me look bad or make CSA look bad‚ but if I don’t deal with it‚ I don’t deal with it‚” insisted Faul.
When asked about the emails from Nkagisang he was copied in‚ the acting CEO said: “It is not in anybody’s interest to fight in the media.”
“That’s the reason I would have sent the letters to them (Nkagisang and his lawyer)‚” said Faul‚ despite saying earlier in the interview he did not to know about the letters.
“I wish I can help but speak to Welsh. I’m sorry my friend‚ I can’t help you.”
A few seconds after the interview with Faul‚ TimesLIVE immediately put out a phone call to company secretary Gwaza.
“I’m sorry I can’t help you‚ please speak to the CEO. I can’t speak about the report without a mandate from the CEO or the president‚” said Gwaza before hanging up.
Nkagisang has sent seven emails to CSA between June 12 and July 6 requesting the governing body to release the findings of the report but has not received a meaningful reply.
Faul said he is not involved in the process despite replying to one of the seven emails from Nkagisang in regards to the NWC forensic report.
Nkagisang first wrote to Faul on June 11.
“It is now 19 months (554 days) to date since this process started and I have been misled‚ told stories‚ and possibly being lied to‚” Nkagisang wrote.
Faul replied to Nkagisang an hour later and said: “Dear Dr‚ I acknowledge receipt of your email and will respond after consultation with our legal department.”
Nkagisang was unimpressed with Faul’s reply the following morning.
“Dear Dr Faul‚ your acknowledgement serves little purpose to ease the pain my family and I were subjected to for the last 19 months.
“I heard this statement numerous times from you that you will consult your legal department and my question was which legal department because CSA does not have any. My patience is worn out.”
CSA board chairperson and President Chris Nenzani responded on June 15 and committed to finalising and releasing the report by the end of June.
"We agreed that all that still needs to be done must be concluded before the end of June 2020‚” said Nenzani.
Nkagisang responded to Nenzani on the same day on June 15.
“Mr Nenzani‚ ‘we agreed that all that still needs to be done must be concluded before the end of June 2020’ is vague. Can you please give a definite date?.”
On June 29‚ having heard no response from CSA‚ Nkagisang sent another letter.
“I once more write to you to clearly remind you of your words dated 15th June 2020 ‘We agreed that all that still needs to be done must be concluded before the end of June 2020.’”
A week passed with no response from CSA. On July 6 Nkagisang again wrote to CSA.
“I am surprised that your (Nenzani) chronometer did not alert you to the end of June 2020 to issue the report but clearly you were not aware that any timeline you put down will eventually come and tonight as I write this email to you it is the 6th July 2020‚” wrote Nkagisang in his relentless pursuit of the release of the report.
The following day on July 7 Nkagisang received a letter from a law firm acting on behalf of CSA instructing him to stop taking up issues with any relevant stakeholders in relation to the release of the report.
The lawyers acting on behalf of CSA told Nkagisang to apply to the Promotion of Access to Information (PAIA) act to access the forensic report.