Kugandrie Govender, Cricket South Africa’s suspended acting CEO, returned to work on Monday – only to be suspended again by the interim board.
Govender was suspended on 14 December 2020, with the interim board citing three counts of misconduct while Govender was chief commercial officer of CSA and while acting CEO, namely:
– The role she played in the revocation of media accreditation of certain journalists in December 2019
– Various breaches of the provisions of the Companies Act as a prescribed officer of CSA
– The role which she played in the dismissal of Clive Eksteen, which CSA has now acknowledged (in terms of a settlement agreement with Eksteen) was an unfair dismissal.
TimesLIVE now reports that the interim board has issued Govender with another notice of suspension and she will not return to the acting CEO’s office.
The publication quotes Judith February, spokesperson for the interim board, as saying: ‘The matter of Ms Govender is subject to a legal process. We will therefore not be making further comment on it because it is in no one’s interests to have a “trial by media”. Whatever matters are to be aired‚ will be aired in the appropriate legal forum and not in the media.’
February underlined that Govender had not returned to her position as acting CEO, a role now filled by Pholetsi Moseki. Govender is instead seen as the chief commercial officer, the job she had before being promoted to acting CEO.
However, Govender approached the Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) after she filed at the dispute resolution body for unfair suspension. The CCMA then reinstated her as the acting CEO on Thursday, after which the interim board agreed to lift the suspension in order to deal with a legal technicality upon which Govender won her case.
The interim board now believes that technicality has been addressed and has based its decision to suspend Govender once more on this. February further explained that: ‘The law allows for someone to be suspended again.’
However, a source told TimesLIVE the CSA interim board was ‘skating on thin ice’ and ‘playing with fire’ with regard to its handling of Govender’s return.
‘She [Govender] was suspended as acting CEO [in December]. If the notice of suspension is now uplifted‚ it means she must now go back to the position she was in as acting CEO when she was suspended in the first place‚’ said the source.
Kugandrie declined to comment.
It is yet another chapter in the turmoil that has gripped CSA for more than a year, marked by multiple firings and resignations, as well as efforts by various parties to keep under wraps the details of the Fundudzi report, which examined myriad allegations of corporate governance failures and maladministration at CSA.