Sacked head of sales and sponsor relations Clive Eksteen takes Cricket SA to CCMA
Cricket SA's former head of sales and sponsor relations Clive Eksteen is taking the governing body to the Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) for unfair dismissal just days after his sacking.
Eksteen was fired with immediate effect on Sunday after he was found “guilty of transgressions of a serious nature” following a lengthy disciplinary process.
The 53-year-old former player was suspended in October last year along with chief financial officer Naasei Appiah and then acting director of cricket Corrie van Zyl in a matter involving players and player contracts through players’ union the SA Cricketers’ Association (Saca).
The trio’s suspension was related to their dereliction of duty following non-payment of player fees stemming from the 2018 Mzansi Super League (MSL).
Appiah is also appealing while Van Zyl has since been reinstated.
Eksteen said he faced five counts of misconduct.
He was acquitted of the three charges‚ which related to Saca‚ and was also exonerated in the fourth charge regarding a sponsorship deal between a sponsor and a broadcaster.
Eksteen believes the fifth charge‚ relating to a sponsorship deal between a multinational company and CSA‚ was a “lesser charge” and therefore he “should not have been dismissed at all‚ let alone found guilty”.
“In these circumstance‚ I shall be immediately be referring a dispute to the CCMA regarding my unfair dismissal‚” said Eksteen in a statement on Tuesday.
The fifth charge Eksteen refers to is a sponsorship deal concluded between a multinational company and CSA for an amount allegedly less than had been approved by the governing body’s executive‚ which resulted in CSA losing out on some R1.7m in revenue.
He said he was made a scapegoat for the ineptness of others and is convinced his name will be cleared at the CCMA.
“My attorney and I are totally confident that I will be vindicated in due course. Unfortunately‚ I believe I have been made a scapegoat for the shortcomings of others and I believe further that relevant evidence has been ignored or overlooked.”
Eksteen said the fifth count was unrelated to the Saca matter and accused CSA of misinformation after the governing body said he was found “guilty of transgressions of a serious nature”.
“I was charged with five counts of misconduct. The first three counts were in respect of the Saca issue (“the Saca charges”)‚ for which I had been suspended‚ the fourth count was in respect of a sponsorship deal concluded between a Sponsor and a Broadcaster (to which CSA was not a party) (“CHARGE 4”)‚ and the fifth count alleged that i have concluded a sponsorship deal between a multinational company and CSA (“CHARGE 5”) for an amount less than had been approved by CSA Exco‚ as a consequence of which CSA “suffered financial loss‚ reputation and image” (sic).
“I was acquitted on all three of the Saca charges as well as CHARGE 4. To my astonishment‚ I was found guilty of CHARGE 5 and received the sanction of dismissa‚” said Eksteen in a statement.
Eksteen said the chair of the proceedings found that it was actually his involvement later on that was instrumental in getting Saca eventually paid.
The disciplinary proceedings against Eksteen started in November last year and were finalised in April. He subsequently lost an appeal against his sanction.
“My astonishment at my conviction of CHARGE 5 is due to‚ among others‚ the following facts: the sponsorship was signed by my superior‚ not by me; no evidence was presented of Exco having mandated a final amount for the sponsorship; and my superior in her evidence failed to mention that she had read a message from me to her‚ prior to the Exco meeting‚ in which I had told her of the current offer on the table from the sponsor.
“The Chair chose to ignore these facts‚ and plainly misunderstood the nature of the sponsorship too.
“The Chair found as follows: “I do not find that the employer established that CSA suffered reputational or image damage in relation to the conduct of the employee and whilst there was no financial in a true sense of the word for CSA‚ revenue was lost‚ as testified by witnesses. CSA accordingly lost revenue in the amount of USD$100 000.00‚ even if it was for lesser rights. I accordingly find the employee guilty of charge 5.”
Eksteen said the chairperson’s finding that revenue in the tune of R1.7m was lost was directly contradicted by the evidence of CSA’s employees. He accused the chairperson of bias.
“Subsequent to my conviction‚ I presented evidence in mitigation. This included a variety of testimonials. The Chair refused to accept pertinent testimonials into evidence.
“She also refused to accept that CHARGE 5 was a minor charge‚ way less serious than the Saca charges on which I had been acquitted.
“In addition‚ I am in possession of evidence which exculpates me‚ which has come to light after the conclusion of the disciplinary inquiry‚ which evidence was known to CSA at the time.
“My reputation and integrity have been severely questioned and tarnished‚ and I believed the disciplinary process would allow me the opportunity to lay out the facts around my suspension as well as subsequent allegations levelled against me.”