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Cricket SA staff pen letter to Minister Mthethwa imploring him to reconsider decision

24 April 2021 - 16:54 By mahlatse mphahlele
Minister Nathi Mthethwa.
Minister Nathi Mthethwa.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Cricket SA (CSA) staff members have sent an impassioned plea to minister of sport Nathi Mthethwa to reconsider his decision to invoke section 13(5) of the National Sports Act to “de-fund and de-recognise” CSA.

Mthethwa spelt out his intention to strip CSA of its rights as cricket’s governing body during the week in a strongly-worded statement that was addressed to warring factions in the form of the interim board (IB) and the members' council (MC).

Reacting to the developments‚ CSA staff members have penned a lengthy letter where they appeal to Mthethwa to reopen discussions with IB and MC members as jobs and livelihoods are on the line.

“Undoubtedly‚ we are aggrieved by the situation currently and are concerned about our jobs and therefore‚ livelihoods‚” read the letter from the staff.

“We are sure that you would understand the ripple effect that your office’s decision would have on us as ordinary workers‚ whose respective families rely on [us] for financial and other wellbeing of various kinds.

“We therefore implore the minister of sports‚ arts & culture‚ Hon. Nathi Mthethwa‚ to please reconsider the current position. We implore the interim board and the members' council to go back to the table and have a meeting of the minds and find an amicable solution in the interests of all who serve this wonderful game and‚ by extension‚ the nation.

“We are of the opinion that an intervention of this nature would mean‚ to say the least‚ the disruption and destruction of all grass roots initiatives and ongoing projects‚ and the loss of more than 1‚000 jobs. These jobs affect the following‚ but not limited to‚ CSA staff‚ member board staff‚ cricket media‚ suppliers‚ sponsorship & hospitality services.”

In the letter‚ CSA staff reiterated their commitment to their jobs and working towards restoring the image of the crisis-riddled federation.

“Each staff member is hugely committed and dedicated to restoring the positive‚ progressive and flourishing image that CSA once enjoyed in the public domain. Please allow us this opportunity because without assistance from your office‚ we certainly will not be able to do this.

“We respect and value your many contributions to CSA‚ cricket and to sport in our country‚ in general. Please consider our request to reopen communication channels between your office and the decisionmakers at CSA to‚ importantly‚ resolve this unhealthy situation for all‚ and to allow the ordinary workers here an opportunity to continue to serve this organisation and our country proudly.”

The staff members also indicated that‚ despite the challenges that CSA has faced over the last 18 months‚ they have executed their duties with successful tournaments in the country.

“During the past 18 months‚ we have put shoulder to the wheel and continued with the tasks at hand in ensuring that operationally the organisation continues to function irrespective of the happenings that were taking place at board‚ members council and exco level.

“We have successfully executed various tournaments‚ where some were implemented under international biosecure environments (BSEs), namely England men’s‚ Sri Lanka men’s‚ Pakistan women and Pakistan men’s tours. We have also had to ensure that teams travel safely during Covid-19 times abroad with the national men’s and women’s teams’ tours to Pakistan and India respectively.”