Defiant Cricket SA interim board vows to continue despite dismissal

A file photo of former Cricket South Africa's Haroon Lorgat.
A file photo of former Cricket South Africa's Haroon Lorgat.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

A defiant Cricket South Africa (CSA) interim board said it was “dismayed” after its dismissal by the organisation's members council and accused the sports body's highest decision-making body of acting “in bad faith”.

The fired board vowed vowed that it would not “stop its work as mandated by the minister [Nathi Mthethwa]” in a dramatic turn of events on Thursday.

The CSA members council dismissed the interim board for “overstepping and disregarding agreed upon duties‚ responsibilities and lines of accountability.”

The council grew increasingly frustrated with the interim board’s conduct but matters came to a head when the temporary leadership allegedly started toying with the idea of appointing Haroon Lorgat as acting CEO.

The members council said in a hard-hitting letter to the sports ministry‚ Parliament and Sascoc that was circulated to the media that the interim board have no legal standing and requested them not to continue representing themselves as representatives of CSA.

But the interim board fire back and said it would continue to working in the public's interest and the best interests of cricket.

In a statement signed off by interim board chairperson Judge Zak Yacoob and fellow board member Judith February‚ the temporary structure confirmed that Lorgat’s involvement did not sit well with the cricket provincial bosses.

“The board is in receipt of a letter from the members’ council‚ dated 11 November 2020. That letter raised various issues about the way in which the board was constituted and about conflicts of interest in relation to one interim board member‚ Mr. Haroon Lorgat‚” said the statement.

The interim structure said it was left baffled as it believed the matter was settled at a meeting of stakeholders on Sunday.

“The board believed the matters were settled. Regrettably‚ by refusing to confirm our mandate‚ the members’ council has shown itself unwilling to co-operate with this independent board.

“We are of the view that the members’ council has acted in bad faith and contrary to the consensus it reached with minister Mthethwa at the end of October.

“In its communication‚ the members’ council requested the board ‘to cease engagement with or participation in the CSA operations‚ as well as cease to engage in any forum as representatives of CSA.

The nine-member interim board ‚ which was announced and appointed by minister Mthethwa last month‚ said it has been hard at work for the past two weeks since being mandated by the minister to restore the credibility of CSA and vowed that its work will not do down the drain.

“The failures of corporate governance within CSA are well-known and the cricket-loving public has watched CSA lurch from crisis to crisis.

“The current situation is untenable and we are thus dismayed to be in receipt of what we can only describe as an obstructionist‚ legalistic letter from the members’ council while we have tried to put structures in place and hold individuals within CSA to account.”

The interim board accused the members council of stymieing its work.

“We are of the view that the conduct of the members’ council is an attempt to stymie the work of our board.

“We are‚ however‚ determined to continue our work in the public interest and in the best interests of cricket in South Africa. We will not hesitate to take decisive steps against those who would undermine the work of this board.

“This is crucial for the survival of cricket in South Africa and to restore public faith and confidence in the game. It is especially important given the busy summer of cricket which lies ahead.”