Gauteng clubs hold SA cricket's future in their hands

Cricket South Africa president Chris Nenzani speaks during a squad announcement for the Cricket World Cup.
Cricket South Africa president Chris Nenzani speaks during a squad announcement for the Cricket World Cup.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

The structure of South African cricket for years to come could be shaped by a decision Gauteng’s clubs will make by 4pm on Tuesday.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) are invested in the process‚ not least because it could help powerful figures stay in their positions.

Heavyweights at CSA are‚ SowetanLIVE has been told‚ trying to extend outgoing president Chris Nenzani’s term for a year after their annual meeting on September 7 and then have him replaced‚ for at least one of possibly two three-year terms‚ by Central Gauteng Lions (CGL) president Jack Madiseng.

Nenzani and Madiseng are allies of CSA’s chief executive‚ Thabang Moroe‚ whose authority has been significantly amplified by the organisation’s recent restructure.

To succeed Nenzani — and thus keep things going Moroe’s way — Madiseng will have to retain his position with Gauteng‚ and that could be complicated.

Gauteng’s board is comprised of set numbers of members according to their race‚ as per the Langa Report‚ which governs how cricket’s most racially riven province runs its affairs.

Currently‚ according to their website and including alternate directors‚ the board consists of seven black Africans‚ five coloureds or Indians‚ and two whites.

That arrangement is set to end at this year’s annual meeting‚ which is scheduled for August 22 — where board members are to be elected freely‚ and Madiseng might therefore be unseated.

Cue CSA’s intervention‚ first in a letter to the CGL and then in two meetings so far.

“CSA felt that it was important that it be determined that ‘all the objectives and goals set out in the Langa Report will have been achieved‚ alternatively‚ substantially achieved’‚” CGL chief executive Greg Fredericks wrote on Thursday in a letter‚ seen by SowetanLIVE‚ addressed to the chairs and secretaries of clubs affiliated to Gauteng’s members’ council.

“CSA further wants to ensure that all connotations of racism are erased from the CGL MOI [memorandum of incorporation].”

How might the CGL do that?

By asking Bernard Ngoepe‚ the former judge president of the south and north Gauteng High Courts who served as the independent chair of CSA’s anticorruption unit during the 2016 fixing scandal‚ to have a look.

“CSA stated that the judge will make an assessment on whether the goals and objectives set out in the Langa Report have been achieved or substantially achieved and will assist the CGL in drafting the clauses that are deemed contentious in the CGL MOI.”

So‚ on July 31‚ the day after their first meeting with CSA‚ who were represented by Moroe and CSA’s company secretary‚ the CGL went to see the judge.

Specifically‚ Fredericks wrote‚ they asked him to consider the “composition of the board”‚ the “continuity of independent directors (from current board to the board that will be elected on August 22)”‚ the “veto rights of black African clubs over black African nominees”‚ and the “voting rights of one-team clubs”.

Ngoepe‚ understandably‚ said he would need to do a more thorough job on that little lot than he would be able to get done by August 22.

Hence the point of Fredericks’ letter‚ which was to ask the clubs to decide how to proceed.

He gave them two options‚ the first of which was not to hold elections at the annual meeting.

“The AGM will then be adjourned until the judge has made his recommendations and once members have approved the recommended amendments‚ the AGM is reconvened to deal with the elections.

“It is expected that the judge will take one month to complete the task.”

Or they could go another route with a “totally open process with no positions reserved for any interest group and be left entirely to the members to ensure that we have a new board that will reflect the demographics of the country”.

A simple majority in favour of one of those choices will be the magic number‚ but if the first is preferred “we will have a formal vote to amend the MOI in the AGM which will require a 75% majority to be adopted”.

Should the second option prevail forms will be sent out on Wednesday‚ asking for each club to nominate one candidate for the board person by Friday.

“We realise that this is not the ideal situation‚ but we want to appeal to all clubs to give us their full cooperation so that we can move forward‚” Fredericks’ letter ends.

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