North West Cricket election dispute goes to mediation

Tiisetso Malepa Sports reporter
An aerial photograph of Potchefstroom cricket stadium in North West Province. File photo
An aerial photograph of Potchefstroom cricket stadium in North West Province. File photo
Image: Gallo Images

The disputed election at North West Cricket (NWC) that saw the election of Tebogo Motlhabane as the president is set to go for mediation in Potchefstroom on Thursday evening.

NWC met last week for its first elective annual general meeting in four years — the province has been under administration since December 2018. But the gathering descended into chaos after Ikageng Cricket Club‚ which had initially nominated Motlhabane‚ made a U-turn on his nomination at the meeting on May 31.

Motlhabane’s election was challenged just days after his ascent to the seat with his rival Petrus Motshabi declaring himself as the legitimate winner instead.

Motshabi lodged a dispute and the matter will be discussed through a mediation process as provided for in the NWC memorandum of understanding (MOI) when there is a conflict.

Motshabi said Motlhabane’s nomination, apparently by Ikageng Cricket Club, was irregular as the nomination was seconded by the same club, which goes against the union’s MOI.

Motlhabane’s election was controversial after it emerged that Ikageng withdrew their nomination shortly before the meeting‚ accusing Motlhabane of having bullied them into signing his nomination form.

But Mickey Gordon, the NWC former president who was appointed to chair the AGM, denied that there was any withdrawal at the meeting.

NWC announced Motlhabane as president with Zubayr Minty as vice-president. Shime Matlhlong and Norman Mmusi are the representatives for the lower and second leagues respectively.

Motlhabane denied the allegations from his rival Motshabi and said his election was proper and that he will be absolved at the mediation meeting.

“It’s been a very stressful week,” said Motlhabane, who is adamant everything in the election was above board. He dismissed the dispute as sour grapes.

“When I received this news of Motshabi lodging a dispute, I was sitting with my vice, Mr Minty, in a sponsors’ meeting that was the day after we were appointed in office.

“We hit the ground running and now there is this distraction. I’m the new NWC president that will be clarified at the meeting.”

Motshabi claims he is the legitimate new president at NWC and said he would be calling for Motlhabane to be removed.

“I will call for the removal of the illegal president of NWC and install the legitimate one which is me,” said Motshabi.

A CSA spokesperson said the governing body has been notified of the disputed AGM at NWC

“We confirm that CSA is currently assessing the information that is coming out of the NWC AGM and in due course we will issue a comprehensive statement to address all matters related to the outcome of the AGM,” the said.

“Until that happens, CSA will not be adding anything to this statement. In the meantime, please refer all NWC-related questions to the office of the NWC CEO.”

NWC CEO HP Prinsloo said the union has sought legal advice on the mediation process but declined to comment further.

“We are currently seeking legal advice on the process and will not comment at this stage,” Prinsloo said.

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