Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) Members Council today (November 12) announced that it will not be appointing the Interim Board.
Following various engagements and a meeting on Sunday, 8 November 2020 between the Members Council, the proposed Interim Board of CSA, Minister Nathi Mthethwa, and members of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, the Members Council have written to the Minister to raise material concerns about the proposed Interim Board. Matters include several unresolved issues; overstepping and disregarding agreed upon duties, responsibilities and lines of accountability; and ultimately, a breakdown in the relationship between the Members Council and the propose Interim Board.
Notwithstanding its decision not to appoint the Interim Board, the Members Council remains deeply committed to resolving the issues that have surfaced within CSA, and will take the necessary steps to ensure that the concerns, which Minister Mthethwa and SASCOC have previously raised, are addressed efficiently and professionally.
Rihan Richards, Acting President of CSA on behalf of the Members Council, said, “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. 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.”
In accordance with the rights afforded to the Members Council by CSA’s Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI), certain individuals remained on the board of CSA until the formal appointment of a Board of Directors. “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,” continued Richards.
In a subsequent media announcement and in his Interim Board announcement address, Minister Mthethwa confirmed that the Interim Board would report to the Members Council. He described it as a necessary transitional step to nurse cricket back to its place of pride both locally and internationally.
“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.
Despite CSA and the Members’ Council’s 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. Had such a relationship continued, CSA would have failed to ensure that it acts in the public interest at all times as these concerns severely reduced our focus on our key business, 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 propositioned Interim Board has not been appointed as directors of CSA, they have no legal standing in relation to the company. The Interim Board has therefore been requested not to continue representing themselves as representative of CSA as they have no such authority and it is our expectation 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.