Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa: 'I am being dared to take executive action'

Tiisetso Malepa Sports reporter
Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa has once again intervened in the impassed between the Cricket South Africa members council and the interim board he appointed.
SO Nathi Mthethwa 01_IMGL0461 Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa has once again intervened in the impassed between the Cricket South Africa members council and the interim board he appointed.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa has given Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) provincial presidents a week to meet with their constituencies and then indicate whether they accept the list of non-negotiable demands that have been made by the organisation’s interim board or not.

The interim board is demanding that CSA’s highest decision-making body‚ the members council‚ agrees to the amendments in the MOI [Constitution] to allow for a majority independent board.

The board has proposed that the incoming board be increased to 13 members with a majority of independent directors and a board chairperson who has no cricket affiliation.

If the interim board have their way‚ CSA will have seven independent and four non-independent directors after the annual general meeting (AGM) scheduled for next month.

The number of independent directors‚ however‚ will essentially increase to nine as the interim board is also calling for the CEO and CFO to be incorporated as directors to complete the new 13-member composition‚ tipping the scales 9/4 in favour of the independents.

The interim board’s proposals‚ however‚ were strongly rejected by eight of the affiliate presidents after consultations with their constituencies‚ who voted against the move.

That created an impasse and forced Minister Mthethwa‚ who appointed the interim board in October last year and mandated it to restore public and stakeholder confidence in the running of CSA‚ to once again intervene.

Mthethwa met with the CSA members council and the interim board in a joint meeting on Tuesday evening and said he is being dared by the provincial presidents to exercise his executive authority.

Following the joint meeting‚ Mthethwa read the riot act to the members council in a statement on Wednesday and gave them until April 6 to reconsider its position.

“On Tuesday 30 March‚ the minister of port‚ arts and culture hosted a joint meeting with the Cricket South Africa members council and the CSA interim board to try and assist them to map a way forward in adopting a new Memorandum of Incorporation to replace the one that has been identified as an obstacle to good governance within cricket‚" the statement said.

“This meeting was held against the backdrop of the envisaged Annual General Meeting scheduled for 17 April 2021.

"This is where a final report on the nine points contained in the minister’s mandate to the interim board is expected to be tabled.

“Despite clarification on some misinterpretations and being provided with cricket best practice elsewhere in the world‚ the members council still clung to the 2013 CSA stance of “cricket needing to be run by cricket people”.

“Amongst the points of clarification were the fact that “independent” does not necessarily translate to “cricket illiteracy” and a “majority of independents over non-independents can be anything from 51% to 49%.”

Mthethwa added that he has had to demonstrate an extraordinary patience in the matter.

“It is important not to allow boardroom disputes to trump player welfare. I am being dared to take executive action.

“In my opinion‚ it is clear that the court of public opinion shows no appetite for any unnecessary delays and own-goals‚ especially at a time when sponsors have demonstrated unbelievable loyalty and patience.”

The interim board said the joint meeting was a “productive one” while the members council is yet to release a statement.