Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa has expressed his disappointment with the Cricket South Africa Members’ Council’s decision on Thursday not to recognise the establishment of an interim board.
Mthethwa announced a group of nine members on 20 October to temporary steer the CSA ship for the coming three months as the Proteas prepare to welcome visiting nations over the summer.
But, CSA acting president Rihan Richards, on behalf of the Members’ Council, told the media in a somewhat contradicting tone on Thursday that the council is unhappy with a string of conflict of interest matters with certain members of the interim board, specifically the return of former CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat.
Mthethwa, though, wrote to Richards on Friday morning where he expressed his disgust with the Members’ Council’s backtrack on his decision, while once again threatening CSA with government intervention – something that is strictly against the ICC code of conduct.
‘I find it most regrettable that you have purported to take the decision not to recognise the Interim Board,’ Mthethwa wrote.
‘I implore you and the Members’ Council to re-visit this decision immediately, and to afford the necessary recognition to the Interim Board, failing which, I will exercise my powers under the Act and issue a directive in that regard.
‘It is most revealing that you do not allege that the relationship has broken down irretrievably. I would therefore like to think that to the extent that there has been some or other breakdown, that the relationship can be restored immediately in the best interests of the game of cricket, and in the public interest.’
On Thursday Richards made it clear that it remains the Members’ Council’s biggest responsibility to guide CSA to a better structure while acting in the interest of South African cricket fans.
Last month Mthethwa presented CSA with a notice of plans for his department to intervene at the organisation after a break down in dialogue between himself and previous acting president Beresford Williams.
Williams and six other board members resigned from their positions as a result, which led to Mthethwa’s appointment of an interim board.
‘The game has lurched from one crisis to the another on an almost daily basis. In the circumstances, I would be failing in my statutory and constitutional duty not to intervene in what is nothing other than the poor governance of a sport which is a national asset,’ Mthethwa added.
‘In relation to Mr. Lorgat the interim Board resolved that he would recuse himself from any and all discussions related to the erstwhile Global League (T20 tournament).
‘I find it deeply disturbing that the Members Council are not prepared to accept a solemn undertaking from a former constitutional court judge (interim Board chair Zak Yacoob) who has served this country without fear or favour with much distinction over a period of many years.’