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Omphile Ramela insists he is still part of Cricket SA interim board‚ despite resolution to remove him

Former player Omphile Ramela says he is going nowhere.
Former player Omphile Ramela says he is going nowhere.
Image: Johan Rynners/Gallo Images

The Cricket South Africa (CSA) interim board says Omphile Ramela has been removed as a director through a resolution but the feisty former player turned administrator is adamant that he is still a part of the organisation.

Ramela‚ who was president of the influential South African Cricketers Association (Saca) until last month‚ was last week barred by the CSA interim board from participating in its further activities and meetings.

The 32-year-old former St John's College boy in Johannesburg was deemed by some of his fellow CSA interim board members‚ including chairperson retired Judge Zak Yacoob‚ to be an “obstructive" and a "young man” who is holding their work back.

Ramela was suspended and asked to come back on December 15 with his lawyer to make representations on why he should not be removed from the CSA interim board.

“The interim board of Cricket South Africa met today‚ 15 December 2020 at 9am and removed Mr Omphile Ramela as a director‚” CSA said.

“It was not an easy decision but the Interim Board had no other option but to do so.”

CSA said the decision to remove Ramela was taken in his absence.

Ramela was sidelined with Xolani Vonya last week‚ who is also seen as a destructive figure for unspecified reasons‚ leaving the CSA interim board with seven members.

“Of the seven directors remaining on the board‚ two directors‚ namely Haroon Lorgat and Stavros Nicolaou‚ were absent. The meeting was declared quorate.”

CSA said the former player did not honour the invitation to make representations.

“Neither Mr Ramela nor an attorney representing him had joined the meeting‚” said CSA.

“The board agreed to proceed on the basis that Mr Ramela knows what is happening.

“The board unanimously decided‚ that Mr Ramela‚ having not appeared to give any reasons why he should not be removed‚ is removed as a director on the CSA interim board.

“Andre Odendaal indicated his intention to abstain. The chair amended the order to reflect that instead of a unanimous vote on the resolution‚ there was one abstention.”

But Ramela is adamant that he is still a director and member of the CSA interim board after he was asked to comment on the official statement announcing his removal.

“My brother‚ I am still very much a director and member of the CSA interim board‚” insisted the Soweto-born former Cape Cobras captain.

When Ramela was frozen out last week‚ he was not completely formally removed as a director as there was a question mark on whether the interim board has the authority to do so.

But the CSA board now seems to be of the view that the removal of a fellow director falls within its jurisdiction.

“No authorized personnel nor structure has removed me from the board‚ so there is absolutely nothing to challenge about my directorship‚” said Ramela.

He said some members of the interim board are trying to hold CSA as an organisation hostage.

“Yes some members of the interim board have attempted to hold the organisation hostage‚ including locking out some of us from board meetings‚ but these will soon be dealt with.

“And you can put me on record on this one. Otherwise I remain a director and am still continuing with my work‚” said Ramela.

Asked how his ordeal will be dealt with‚ Rame said: “Let’s please allow the process to unfold my brother. That’s all I can comment on for now.”

Curiously‚ the letterhead on the CSA interim board statement announcing Ramela’s removal still has the former player on the list of the organisation’s board of directors.