Cricket SA council asks board chair Yacoob to explain why he should not be suspended

27 January 2021 - 13:50 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
The Cricket SA interim board on Wednesday met sports minister Nathi Mthethwa.
The Cricket SA interim board on Wednesday met sports minister Nathi Mthethwa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Retired Justice Zak Yacoob has been asked by the Cricket SA (CSA) members' council to provide reasons why he should not be suspended as the interim chairperson of the board after bringing the organisation into disrepute.

Last week, the former justice of the Constitutional Court launched a foul-mouthed tirade at Arena Holdings journalist Tiisetso Malepa, and the council classified his conduct as “unbecoming and inappropriate behaviour”.

 

The CSA members' council‚ which is the organisation’s highest decision-making body made up of provincial board presidents‚ resolved unanimously in its meeting on Tuesday that Yacoob’s behaviour had been gravely inappropriate.

“The members' council resolved to serve notice to Judge Zak Yacoob in terms of the Companies Act‚ No 71 of 2008, section 71 (2)b, [which states] 'the director must be afforded an opportunity to make a presentation‚ in person or through a representative‚ to the meeting‚ before a resolution is put before a vote' ... in relation to [Yacoob] displaying conduct unbecoming of a director, thus bringing the CSA as an organisation into disrepute‚” read the council's round-robin resolution.

“As a result‚ the members' council contemplated and considered the appropriate action to be taken and resolved that they would engage their constituencies to obtain a mandate whether to take action against Judge Yacoob‚” according to the council's statement.

Delegates of the council were then asked to approve the resolution and respond in favour or against the resolution by lunch time on Wednesday.

Clause 11.2.2 of CSA’s disciplinary code states that “CSA will provide the employee with an opportunity to motivate within 48 hours why he or she should not be suspended”.

The members' council is responsible for the appointment and firing of directors. It also holds directors accountable for conduct expected of those entrusted with leading the organisation.

In the quest for holding directors accountable‚ the council can appoint an independent party to investigate a director's conduct, and it can ask any director to take a leave of absence while an investigation is being conducted.

In the meantime‚ the DA has joined calls for the removal of Yacoob.

“We condemn the former judge’s disgraceful and aggressive attitude towards the journalist as it is unbecoming for someone in his position,” the party said.

“In a telephone call with the reporter regarding the suspension of CSA acting CEO Kugandrie Govender‚ Yacoob can be heard hurling all manner of insults towards the journalist who was merely trying to do their job.

Listen to the conversation: 

“He referred to the journalist as 'dishonest' [and] 'idiot', and accused the journalist of being a 'rogue and dirty journalist'.”

The DA said it was not the first time the CSA had been embroiled in controversy related to its treatment of the media. Last year‚ it revoked media accreditation of journalists because they had written about the dire state of cricket in the country.

“In a democratic state such as SA‚ freedom of the press must be protected and any attempt to silence or berate journalists must be condemned,” the DA said.


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