Cricket SA interim board denies flouting due processes in execution of its mandate

General Views of Cricket South Africa Offices during the Covid-19 Crisis on April 30, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
General Views of Cricket South Africa Offices during the Covid-19 Crisis on April 30, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Some members of the Cricket South Africa (CSA) interim board are facing accusations of improper conduct and flouting due processes after company secretary Welsh Gwaza was allegedly suspended without board resolution.

The CSA interim board also allegedly intended to serve acting CEO Kugandrie Govender and CFO Pholetsi Moseki with notices of suspension but the lack of a resolution scuppered the plans.

The decision to suspend Govender and Moseki was quickly rescinded after some of the board members apparently objected to their suspension without a resolution in place.

TimesLIVE has reliably established that Gwaza was served with a suspension notice on Monday while a board resolution was only obtained the following day.

CSA interim board spokesperson Judith February insisted on Tuesday that all was done according by the book.

“At a meeting of the interim board‚ it was resolved to suspend Mr Gwaza.”

Asked via email to provide a day and date on when the interim board obtained a resolution to suspend Gwaza‚ February did not respond.

February also did not confirm nor deny that the board intended to also suspend Govender and Moseki before the about-turn to rescind their planned suspensions.

“At this stage‚ only the company secretary‚ Mr Welsh Gwaza has been served with notice of disciplinary hearing and suspension (on full pay) pending the outcome of the disciplinary hearing‚” February told TimesLIVE.

Gwaza will be subjected to a disciplinary hearing on December 14 as the interim board starts to wield the axe based on findings from the forensic report that was released last week.

February declined a request to provide the reasons behind Gwaza’s suspension.

“Given that the matter is yet to be heard‚ I cannot go into any more detail than has already been disclosed at this stage.”

TimesLIVE has established that the decision to suspend the three executives was reached during a weekend meeting between board chairperson and retired judge Zak Yacoob‚ Haroon Lorgat and February where the three apparently resolved to issue notices of suspension without a resolution.

It is understood that the plan to suspend Gwaza and the two executives was allegedly hatched at a weekend meeting attended by Judge Yacoob‚ Lorgat and February without the buy-in and knowledge of the rest of the board members.

February declined to comment on the alleged weekend meeting. She instead said that she has identified an “informant” that has been speaking to TimesLIVE.

“The only thing I can say is that we are aware of your source of information. It is obvious from your line of questioning‚” said February.

“The only thing to be said is that the informant is peddling lies and misinformation.

“I suppose one can join the dots and draw one's own conclusions as to why it is that the informant would lie. I therefore do not consider these questions worthy of a response.”

Judge Yacoob also weighed on the email exchange with TimesLIVE‚ saying in reply to February’s response that “Well done [referring to February]. I would not have said I know who it [the informant] is.

The interim board was appointed and announced by sports‚ arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa on October 30.

The nine-member team was tasked with the tough mandate of restoring public and stakeholder confidence in the administration of the game.

The CSA interim board announced on Tuesday in a statement confirming the suspension of the company secretary Gwaza that it is well underway with the investigation emanating from the Fundudzi forensic report into allegations of poor corporate governance and maladministration within the organisation.

But the interim board itself faces fresh allegations that it is not adhering to good corporate governance after it emerged that the temporary leadership is operating without sub-committees and only relies on legal advice from a newly appointed law firm.

The interim board also appears to be operating outside of the CSA governance structures and potentially the King Report and the Companies Act. It is operating without the cricket committee‚ the risk and audit committee‚ the social and ethics committee and the finance and remuneration committee.

For a board to function efficiently and effectively it needs sub-committees in order to promote independent judgement and assist with the balance of power.

February said the interim board has not had time to put the sub-committees in place due to the limited time that it has been in office. She said the board is handling all matters on its own.

“Given (i) that the interim board was appointed less than a month ago‚ (ii) that it has been seized with considering the Fundudzi Report and what the report entails for CSA and its stakeholders and various other urgent matters within its very short mandate‚ and (iii) the very limited time which the interim board has in which to execute its mandate‚ the interim board has not yet established any sub-committees‚” said February.

“The interim board is tackling its work as a whole at this stage.

“In our view this does not constitute a violation of the Companies Act (or any other law for that matter).

“The establishment of an interim board on the basis set out above‚ is indeed not a regular occurrence‚ and certainly not one which the King Code [Report] contemplates.

“To say that the interim board is in violation of King’s principles‚ is regrettably a mischaracterisation of this extraordinary situation.”