Cricket SA revises investigation into suspended CEO Thabang Moroe

Cricket board changes terms of reference on probe of suspended CEO

05 July 2020 - 00:00 By KHANYISO TSHWAKU and TIISETSO MALEPA
Cricket South Africa president Chris Nenzani (L) addresses media on December 7 2019 in Johannesburg - a day after the suspension of chief executive Thabang Moroe - as vice-president Beresford Williams (R) listens attentively.
Cricket South Africa president Chris Nenzani (L) addresses media on December 7 2019 in Johannesburg - a day after the suspension of chief executive Thabang Moroe - as vice-president Beresford Williams (R) listens attentively.
Image: BackpagePix

Cricket SA's board this week changed the terms of reference of the yet to be delivered forensic investigation into its suspended CEO, Thabang Moroe.

In an internal memo the Sunday Times has seen, the board proposed that the members' council considers and ratifies the board's decision to request the forensic consultant, Fundudzi Forensic Services, to "provide the board with certain information/reports related to the conduct of certain CSA management team members, to the exclusion of any information/reports related to the investigation of the conduct of the board and members' council as envisaged by the terms of reference".

The legality of the changing of the terms of reference of a report that was supposed to be completed by June 30 now casts doubt on whether the board is prepared to accept responsibility for its part in the administrative bungling that took place in the lead-up to Moroe's suspension.

The changing of the terms of reference means the forensic investigation company must furnish the board with information/reports related to Moroe and the executive management team's misconduct and not the role the board might or might not have played during Moroe's tenure.

The memo recommended that paragraphs three and seven of the terms of reference be amended with the following clause:

"The board is authorised to request and receive certain information/reports from the consultant, which information/reports the CSA board of directors requires to carry out certain actions in the organisation from time to time. Such requested information/reports shall specifically exclude any information/reports related to the investigation into the conduct of the board and the members' council as envisaged in these terms of reference."

Paragraph three of the initial terms of reference adopted by the members' council on January 17 said:

"3.1. The consultant shall make appropriate recommendations [including recommendations on strengthening of internal controls and management accountability] and discuss initial findings with the audit and risk committee.

"3.2. The consultant will prepare:

"3.2.1. The inception report containing understanding of scope of assignment, methodology, sampling approach and work-plan for approval by the audit and risk committee;

"3.2.2. The draft report setting out procedures followed, findings and recommendations; and

"3.2.3. The final report setting out procedures followed, findings and recommendations, resulting from the review by CSA."

Paragraph seven said the consultant will be engaged by CSA and the consultant will report to the audit and risk committee through the chairperson of this committee.

The resolution was put to the members' council on Monday, a day before the full report needed to be completed as per the deadline CSA president Chris Nenzani had announced to the parliamentary sports portfolio commitee on June 19.

Of the 14 members' council affiliates, 10 approved the resolution this week.

Moroe was suspended with full pay on December 6 because of alleged misconduct based on reports received by CSA's social and ethics committee and the audit and risk committee related to possible failure of controls in the organisation.

What have they uncovered that is for some reason not supposed to find its way into the report?
Michael Motsoeneng Bill, lawyer representing Thabang Moroe

When a six-month period of Moroe's suspension elapsed, CSA hadn't brought charges against him and Moroe reported for duty on June 11 after his lawyer, Michael Motsoeneng Bill, wrote a letter to CSA on June 8 requesting information with regards to Moroe's suspension. It wasn't responded to by June 9, and Moroe went to the office two days later to report for duty.

He was let into CSA's office at Melrose Estate, but CSA held a board meeting on June 12 where it subsequently clarified its stance on Moroe's suspension.

When briefing the parliamentary sports portfolio committee, Nenzani said the report was nearly complete and the first part of the report should be completed at the close of business of June 19 with the full report to follow at the end of the month.

The deadlines weren't met and Moroe accused Nenzani of misleading the sports portfolio committee with regard to the progress of the investigation.

Nenzani refused yesterday to respond to questions with regard to the changes of the terms of reference.

"Where did you get that? Since you've got them, you need to ask the person who provided you with that document because it had nothing to do with you.

"It was sent to specific people for specific reasons. It had nothing to do with you," Nenzani said.

"The person who gave you that document needs to explain it to you. You can't be getting information from your moles and come to confirm it with me.

"We didn't give you that document on purpose because we know why we've done so. It had nothing to do with the media, but everything to do with us. There's no reason for me to respond to questions regarding the resolution when you didn't get it from me."

Bill said changing of the terms of reference indicates how CSA has not been able to pin anything on Moroe.

"What this shows is that the concern has shifted from being about governance issues within CSA to being about one man, Thabang Moroe. The terms of reference for a report that at some point was supposedly imminent have been changed," Bill said.

"This begs the question, what have the investigators been doing all along and what becomes of that work? What have they uncovered that is for some reason not supposed to find its way into the final report? This is fruitless and wasteful expenditure of six months' worth of work."


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