Mthethwa warns Cricket SA: ‘I would be failing in my duty not to intervene’

Nathi Mthethwa (Minister of Sport, arts and culture) during the CAF president candidacy press conference at SAFA House on November 09, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Nathi Mthethwa (Minister of Sport, arts and culture) during the CAF president candidacy press conference at SAFA House on November 09, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Sports‚ Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa’s ultimatum to Cricket South Africa’s defiant member’s council is crystal clear: it’s either they revisit their decision to remove the interim board or face the full might of Section 13 of the National Sport and Recreation Act.

Mthethwa’s instructive letter comes after CSA’s member’s council refused to appoint the interim board‚ citing a breakdown of trust between the bodies. The nine-person interim board that’s chaired by retired justice Zak Yacoob was appointed by Mthethwa on October 30‚ but in two weeks has reached a deadlock with the member’s council they report to.

In the letter‚ Mthethwa warned the members’ council not to push him towards a decision that could detrimentally impact the game‚ and that his intervention would be justified.

“I implored him [Rihan Richards‚ acting president of the members council] and the members’ council to revisit 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‚” Mthethwa stated in his letter.

“In the event that he fails to comply with my directive‚ I will not hesitate to impose the sanctions available to me in terms of the Act.

“It is evident that the game of cricket is in a state of complete disarray and that my intervention in terms of the Act would not only be warranted‚ but would also be justified. 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 said Richards’s tone was disappointing as the two entities haven’t worked together for a month before the breakdown of the relationship.

“I made it clear that I am dismayed and deeply disappointed at the tone of his reply. It defies logic that within a very short space of time‚ Mr Richards alleges a breakdown in the relationship between the Interim Board and the Members’ Council‚” Mthethwa said.

“It is most revealing that Mr Richards does 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.”

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