North West Cricket managers almost all white, but CEO Prinsloo denies racism

21 October 2021 - 16:57
By Tiisetso Malepa
North West Cricket has committed to transform the union's management, which is  almost 100% white, but denied allegations of racism.
Image: Screengrab from Cricket SA YouTube North West Cricket has committed to transform the union's management, which is almost 100% white, but denied allegations of racism.

North West Cricket (NWC) chief HP Prinsloo has said the union will change its ways after it came under fire for having an all-white management team.

The administrator, men’s head coach, women’s head coach, finance manager, head  groundsman and chair of the umpires are all white males and report to Prinsloo, another white male.

The only black person in a management role is the cricket services manager, who is of Indian descent.

“This is correct, but to reflect on it we must look at the appointment dates of those people,” said Prinsloo. “It was a very long time ago. It is my presentation that labour law issues [mean we] can’t get rid of these people for the sake of doing so.”

Prinsloo appeared before Cricket SA’s (CSA's) social justice and nation-building (SJN) transformation hearings in response to allegations of anti-transformation and racism levelled at NWC by former NWC president Dr Oupa Nkagisang, NWC members' council member Phestus Motshabi and former umpire Papi Mbese.

“The majority of misplaced allegations or submissions by Dr Oupa Nkagisang in his testimony remain untested and uncorroborated accusations and therefore careful consideration should be exercised as to the weight that can attached to it,” said Prinsloo in his testimony.

“Mr Motshabi and Mbese’s accusations are a repetition or are similar to Dr Nkagisang’s.”

Prinsloo said NWC  “reaffirms its commitment to transformation and transparent management and administration of the union in the best interests of cricket and all affiliates and stakeholders.

Prinsloo said the NWC payroll shows that 84% of employees are black and black African.

But what Prinsloo did not acknowledge was the fact that the workforce at NWC reflects the right demographics only at lower levels and not in management.

Prinsloo said that NWC will in the coming months restructure and ensure that demographics at senior managerial levels at the union are reflective of the country.

“At every opportunity that arises in terms of new appointments of people, transformation will be in the forefront of our consideration to fill that position. Those in management have been in those positions for a long time.”

Prinsloo denied accusations of racism from former umpire Mbese, who testified in July that he was called the k-word by Johan Louw, who is the president of umpires at NWC.

Mbese said he witnessed an incident during a tournament in Orkney where there was a huge scuffle after an umpire called one of the players the k-word.

“It is denied that Mr Johan Louw abused an umpire,” said Prinsloo. “There was no enquiry to that effect.”

Chairperson of the SJN hearings advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza took Prinsloo to task for denying categorically that Louw did not abuse Mbese, even though there was no enquiry.

Ntsebeza was not impressed that Prinsloo relied solely on Louw’s word that he did not abuse an umpire.