CSA Members Council refuses to accept interim board

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Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) Members Council announced on Thursday 12 November that it would not be appointing the Interim Board recommended by Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

Late last month the entire CSA board resigned to allow a process of restructuring to take place with an interim board selected to guide them through this process.

CSA lurches into another crisis

It now seems that the Members Council are unhappy with the makeup board and the scope and scale of their duties.

The Members Council have raised a string of grievances with the interim board which they claim have not been ironed out despite multiple attempts to engage with them.

Despite this refusal to accept the interim board the Members Council say they remain deeply committed to resolving the issues that have surfaced within CSA. The body insist they will take the necessary steps to ensure that the concerns, which Minister Mthethwa and SASCOC have previously raised, are addressed efficiently and professionally.

“The Members Council embarked on a process last month to facilitate the resignation of the then-incumbent board members of CSA, with the intention of appointing an Interim Board that would work collaboratively with all stakeholders,” Acting President of CSA Rihan Richards said. 

“The main objective of the new Interim Board was to work closely with the Members Council and CSA executives, to achieve necessary change within the organisation and to take cricket forward until a new board is elected at the annual general meeting.

“During the initial consultative meetings, the Members Council did propose a recommended structure of the board, with certain preconditions attached to the appointment of members of the Interim Board, including having the prerequisite collective skills, professionalism and capability to comply with the legal and operational duties, at all times.

“In a ministerial update published on 28 October 2020, the Minister confirmed the Members Council’s views that our engagement was constructive, and he expressed an appreciation for our leadership.

“Importantly, the Minister also made specific reference to certain matters that the Interim Board would deal with, and the Members Council aligned with all of these. The Interim Board was given clearly specified roles and responsibilities, with accountability to the Members Council.

“While the logical next step would have been for the Members Council to appoint the Interim Board, if they were nominated to the board of directors of CSA, and as outlined in the MOI of the organisation. The MOI governs the relationship between the board and its members, as well as the roles of the Members Council and that of the Board,” said Richards.

Unresolved matters

According to the Members’ Council attempts to constructively engage members of the proposed Interim Board, unresolved matters including a conflict of interest relating to a proposed member of the Interim Board; opposition to outlined roles, responsibilities and reporting lines as outlined in the MOI; unprofessional conduct; non-cooperation; and misalignment between the Members Council and the Interim Board, remained contrary to the arrangements agreed to by the parties. 

Interim board of CSA not empowered by Members Council

Had such a relationship continued the Members Council believe they would have failed to ensure that they act in the public interest at all times as these concerns severely reduced their focus on the key business of the development of cricket.

“As the Members Council of CSA, we have a responsibility to ensure compliance with legal and corporate governance requirements in the administration of cricket and the organisation, and a duty to cricket supporters to uplift and develop the game. We further also have a duty to the International Cricket Council (ICC) in terms of its articles of association,” continued Richards.

As the Interim Board had not been appointed as directors of CSA, they have no legal standing within the company. The Interim Board has been requested not to continue portraying themselves as representatives of CSA as they have no such authority and it is the Members Council expects that they will not continue to do so.

“Following the concerns outlined above which remained unresolved, the Members Council is not prepared to appoint the members of the proposed Interim Board to be directors of CSA in terms of the MOI. However, the Members Council will continue to work with the Minister, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture and SASCOC on a collaborative basis to address and correct the ills of the past. The basis for the relationship between the parties is clearly prescribed by the law and requires mutual respect by all parties in complying with their obligations,” concluded Richards.

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