Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa fires CSA board chair Zak Yacoob after tirade against journalist

Retired judge Zak Yacoob, who is the chairperson of the Cricket South Africa interim board, during a virtual media briefing.
Retired judge Zak Yacoob, who is the chairperson of the Cricket South Africa interim board, during a virtual media briefing.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa has told the Cricket South Africa (CSA) interim board that its chairperson, justice Zak Yacoob, must go.

The minister met the board on Wednesday and communicated his desire for the retired judge to step down from his position — for bringing CSA into disrepute.

Mthethwa was stunned after he read the Sunday Times and then listened to the audio on TimesLIVE to the volley of insults that the retired judge of the Constitutional Court fired at Arena Holdings journalist Tiisetso Malepa during a heated interview.

Full media statement from Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture

Minister Nathi Mthethwa, having taken note of weekend reports relating to a call between the Chairman of the CSA Interim Board, Judge Zak Yacoob and a newspaper journalist, took time to engage with the Judge to agree on the best way forward on the matter. By mutual agreement, it was felt that the Judge should recuse himself from chairing the Interim Board.

As the Interim Board only has a few weeks remaining to the conclusion of their assignment, Interim Board member, Dr Stavros Nicolaou, has been appointed to act as Chair for the balance of the period.

On the work of the Interim Board, Minister Mthethwa said, ”This decision was made out of an abundance of caution, to safeguard the tremendous work done by the Interim Board, under his stewardship. The Judge showed remorse and apologised for his role in the call with the journalist. I take this opportunity to thank him for accepting my invitation to chair the Interim Board, as well as for his leadership, throughout the process”.

Whilst the Minister still awaits a formal update on progress made by the Interim Board, he remains optimistic that the final report will contribute positively to the process of reforming South African cricket. He also hopes that the recommendations made will enable CSA to convene their delayed AGM, where a new Board will be appointed.

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