Majority of Cricket SA interim board members reject Gwaza's suspension‚ question legality of the process

Former Constitutional Court judge and CSA interim board chairperson Zak Yacoob is accused of improper conduct.
Former Constitutional Court judge and CSA interim board chairperson Zak Yacoob is accused of improper conduct.

The majority of the Cricket South Africa (CSA) interim board have rejected the suspension of company secretary Welsh Gwaza and the increasingly divided body wants strong action to be taken against the members who authorised his suspension.

TimesLIVE reported on Wednesday that some members of the CSA board face accusations‚ from their colleagues‚ of improper conduct and failing to exercise due process in relation to the way Gwaza was suspended on Monday.

It emerged on Thursday that not only was there no board resolution to suspend Gwaza‚ but there was also no resolution for the termination of a contract of any service provider.

Gwaza was suspended on full pay on Tuesday for “misconduct” without the board elaborating further. A disciplinary hearing against Gwaza will be held on December 14.

The board also delivered a notice of breach to People Link (Pty) Ltd.‚ a company that has been providing Human Resources services‚ and also terminated the services of PR Worx CC‚ a public relations company‚ with immediate effect on Tuesday.

In a statement confirming Gwaza’s suspension and the termination of contracts of service providers‚ the board said the developments were part of its ongoing investigation emanating from the Fundudzi forensic report into allegations of poor corporate governance and maladministration within the organisation.

There was a standoff among members of the board over Gwaza’s suspension with the majority questioning the legality of the process and describing the actions of those who unlawfully authorised the suspension as gross misconduct that cannot go unpunished.

TimesLIVE has established from impeccable sources that the interim board met at the weekend and a motion to suspend Gwaza‚ or any member of staff‚ was rejected outright. Instead‚ a resolution to appoint an administrator was passed.

But CSA interim board chairperson and retired judge of the Constitutional Court‚ Zak Yacoob‚ along with fellow members Haroon Lorgat and Judith February‚ following counsel from a newly appointed Cape Town-based law firm‚ allegedly deviated and decided on their own to go ahead and issue a notice of suspension and of a disciplinary hearing against the company secretariat.

February‚ who speaks on behalf of the CSA interim board‚ was sent a media inquiry on Thursday but said the questions TimesLIVE put to her were not worthy of a response when asked to produce a copy of the board resolution to suspend Gwaza.

“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.”

An impasse between the board members ensued with some choosing to formally register a complaint to the members council in relation to the alleged conduct of some of their colleagues‚ including chairperson Yacoob.

TimesLIVE can reveal that Gwaza’s company laptop was confiscated from him‚ without a board resolution.

Except for Judge Yacoob‚ Lorgat and February‚ the majority of the interim board are none the wiser as to the location of Gwaza’s laptop and the security under which it is stored.

The decision to confiscate Gwaza’s laptop‚ like the resolution to suspend him‚ was not agreed upon by the majority of the board‚ TimesLIVE can reveal.

It is believed that the majority of the members of the board are concerned that should there be any evidence on Gwaza’s laptop‚ it could be compromised as its whereabouts are currently known to only a few of their colleagues.

The ball is now on the members council's court to decide on what action‚ if any‚ is taken to discipline board members who have acted improperly.

The members council is the CSA highest decision-making body made up of provincial presidents and its acting head‚ Rihan Richards‚ the president of Northern Cape Cricket‚ said the high authority is not yet ready to make its position known.

“The members council will not be making comments on this matter at this stage‚” said Richards on Thursday.

Nathi Mthethwa‚ minister of sports‚ arts and culture‚ distanced himself from the interim board’s daily operations when asked if he is satisfied with the work of the nine-member temporary leadership and its conduct or not.

“This is an independent board and it has been given a mandate and space to do it’s work‚” Mthethwa told TimesLIVE.

“Once it has completed it’s work‚ it will give a report to the Minister.”

The interim board was appointed and announced by 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.

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