'I am not a racist‚' says CEO HP Prinsloo as tension continues to simmer in North West cricket

05 August 2020 - 14:03 By Tiisetso Malepa
An aerial photograph of Potchefstroom cricket stadium in North West Province.Tensions are simmering in NWC as clubs are divided in the middle as to whether the suspended board should be reinstated before the annual general meeting in September or not. :
An aerial photograph of Potchefstroom cricket stadium in North West Province.Tensions are simmering in NWC as clubs are divided in the middle as to whether the suspended board should be reinstated before the annual general meeting in September or not. :
Image: Gallo Images

North West Cricket (NWC) chief executive officer HP Prinsloo has denied allegations that he frequently makes racist comments in public and has very little regard for transformation obligations.

Club administrators and employees in the North West‚ who wished to remain anonymous for fear of victimisation‚ furiously pointed an accusing finger at Prinsloo and said he deliberately went out of his way to reverse numerous transformation gains in the province soon after taking office in October 2018.

Prinsloo's accusers detailed a long list of allegations and told TimesLIVE that he wilfully removes black coaches who fail to select his son and has become known for making racist utterances in the province.

But the underfire CEO insisted that he's not a racist.

“I deny the accusations attributed to me as I am not a racist and in my personal and professional capacity committed to the Cricket SA transformation charter‚” Prinsloo told TimesLIVE in an emailed statement this week.

A club administrator detailed the events that allegedly led to Prinsloo removing black coaches after they failed to play his eldest son regularly.

“I can tell you that HP’s interest is his son‚" the administrator said.

"HP has actually got two sons but the older one is just not good enough‚ but he doesn't care and wants him in. He wants him to play for the Lions.

“That's why he removed black coaches in the age group cricket because they were refusing to field that boy. At least the younger one can be spoken about.”

A second administrator alleged that Prinsloo does not believe black people are capable of holding top positions in North West cricket.

He said after NWC elected the first black chairperson in its history in 2016 when Dr Oupa Nkagisang became president‚ Prinsloo remarked: “leave him to hang himself.”

He is also alleged to have said: “leave them to run this place like a tuckshop”.

A third administrator said after these comments‚ it became crystal clear to them that Prinsloo has a problem with NWC being led by black people.

“It was a very sad day for everyone involved. HP is known for his racist comments and he does not hide it.

“I think people shouldn’t have taken that comment lightly because now when I look back‚ I realise how bitter they really were that their union was driven by black people‚ which is sad really.”

Prinsloo denied these allegations and said there are people in NWC who are using race to divide cricket in the province.

“I deny the accusations. North West Cricket are committed to the CSA Transformation Charter and will continue to do so going forward‚” Prinsloo told TimesLIVE‚ despite his coaching and management team having just one person of colour out of 10.

Prinsloo said he is a person of good standing in his community.

“I cherish my good name and standing in the community‚ and I reserve the right‚ if required‚ to take steps in the protection of my personal and professional integrity.

“I am also aware of certain individuals driving a narrative based on race and in doing so‚ creating divisions in our cricket fraternity and our communities‚” said Prinsloo.

Prinsloo's accusers said the coaching and management team was representative of the demographics of the country under the leadership of the suspended board led by Nkagisang and former CEO Heinrich Strydom.

The administrators say there were five people of colour and as many white senior coaches and managers‚ but the management structure has become almost completely lily-white in the two years Prinsloo has been in charge.

At the time of writing the NWC senior management and coaching team consisted of nine white people and only one person of colour.

The NWC board was suspended when CSA placed the union under administration over alleged maladministration in December 2018.

Former NWC president Archie Pretorius was appointed by CSA as the administrator and has been running the affairs of the province under the executive management of Prinsloo.

The administrators said after the board was stripped of its oversight duties‚ Prinsloo had leeway to remove black coaches and administrators and replaced them with white people.

Tensions are simmering in NWC as clubs are divided in the middle as to whether the suspended board should be reinstated before the annual general meeting in September or not.

TimesLIVE understands that a draft meeting notice for the NWC AGM set for this month has been sent although a date and venues are yet to be agreed upon.


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