Institute for Race Relations to take Cricket SA to the ICC over plan to only hire black consultants

Kugandrie Govender (CSA) during the South African Womans national cricket squad announcement at Imperial Wanderers Stadium on January 13, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Kugandrie Govender (CSA) during the South African Womans national cricket squad announcement at Imperial Wanderers Stadium on January 13, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

The Institute for Race Relations (IRR) will lodge a complaint with the International Cricket Council and register its rejection of Cricket South Africa’s plan to only hire black consultants in an attempt to speed up the pace of transformation.

After a meeting with the department of sports this week‚ CSA’s acting CEO Kugandrie Govender reportedly confirmed they intend to take this direction to address transformation.

The decision had a mixed reception‚ with some rejecting it while others in SA's divided society welcomed it warmly.

The IRR intends to take the matter up with to the sport's governing body‚ following in the heels of AfriForum's own announcement on Tuesday that the civil rights organisation was considering legal action against the plan.

“The IRR will today write to the Board of Directors of the International Cricket Council (ICC) to ask it to investigate and consider action against Cricket South Africa (CSA) for failings of membership in terms of Article 2.10 of the ICC Constitution‚” the IRR said in a statement on Wednesday.

The IRR also said CSA failed to respect clause 5 of the ICC constitution and contravened articles 2.4(a)‚ (d)‚ (e) and (i).

The organisation said CSA has over the years strayed from the values of the ICC of fairness‚ integrity‚ excellence‚ accountability‚ teamwork‚ respect for diversity and commitment to the global game and its great spirit.

IRR deputy head of policy research Hermann Pretorius said CSA has lost touch with the South African people.

Pretorius said research by the IRR shows that a vast majority of South Africans‚ more than 80%‚ want sport to be based on merit and not on race.

“The destructive re-racialisation of South African sport is a dangerous backwards step and leaves honest‚ decent South Africans with little choice but to insist on drastic action to right these absurd wrongs.”

The IRR said it will write a letter to the ICC board in the coming days to bring to the attention of the world governing body years of mismanagement and political interference at CSA.

The IRR said fairness has given way to ideological agendas‚ integrity to political opportunism and manipulation and that excellence has been compromised by placing sporting achievement second to political decision-making.

It said a lack of accountability has meant allegations of malfeasance have remained unaddressed‚ while allowing these problems to escalate to a point where blatant racism is now CSA policy‚ putting paid to any ambition to respect diversity.

The decision has resulted in AfriForum instructing its legal team to investigate the possibility of court action.

“CSA’s decision to exclusively hire black consultants can in no way be regarded as anything other than unjustifiable racial discrimination‚” said AfriForum's head of policy and action Ernst Roets.

“It is concerning that it has become common for some forms of discrimination to be excused and justified as 'necessary' or 'positive'.

“These are dangerous and blatant double standards that need to be opposed‚ and as a civil rights organisation AfriForum will do exactly that.”

The DA also registered their unhappiness with CSA’s plan and rejected it.

DA shadow deputy minister of sport Willem Faber said the move was unfair as it may discriminate against former players helping the national team.

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