Nathi Mthethwa

Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture. Photo by Gallo Images/Jeffrey Abrahams

Cricket South Africa face five-day test ahead of AGM on Saturday

Cricket South Africa hope to elect a new board on Saturday 5 September but will face a grilling from Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa this week.

Nathi Mthethwa

Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture. Photo by Gallo Images/Jeffrey Abrahams

Cricket South Africa are scheduled to hold their Annual General Meeting on Saturday 5 September, but the embattled organisation will need to satisfy a ministerial probe before they are allowed to appoint a new board.

The sport garnered the minister’s attention after a large group of former players spoke out against systemic racism in the sport and Cricket South Africa’s leadership crisis is now in Nathi Mthethwa’s eyeline.

Called to the principal’s office

Mthethwa has asked CSA to provide feedback to him regarding “substantive issues,” the minister raised at the previous meeting with the federation on 17 August.

Cricket South Africa are under the microscope owing to their handling of the suspension and subsequent firing of CEO Thabang Moroe and the resignations of other leading figures.

Moroe was the third senior CSA staff member to be dismissed this year, but his firing has raised serious questions about the integrity of the organisation.

On the brink of the AGM Cricket South Africa face fresh allegations of maladministration after it emerged that Border Cricket president Simphiwe Ndzundzu was a candidate for a place on the board.

A controversial figure in Border cricket, Ndzundzu is the subject of an investigation for assault in East London, after he allegedly attacked a colleague in their house.

Cricket South Africa must make real changes

Against the backdrop of having fired their full-time chief executive before the end of their term for the third term in a row, CSA must get this election right.

With concerns raised by members from Border and Gauteng over the process for nominations, and still other Cricket South Africa Member’s Council members questioning the body’s handling of the Moroe issue, there is good reason to doubt the AGM will herald the dawn of a new era in South African cricket.

A further two nominees for positions on the Cricket South Africa board do not enjoy the support of their own Unions. 

There is a suggestion that the report from the forensic audit of Moroe’s tenure as CEO may damn several candidates for the presidency and other board positions.

Despite commissioning the forensic audit, the Members Council can only access the report at the offices of Cricket South Africa’s lawyers and must sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement before being allowed to read the document.

Minister Mthethwa has also asked to see the document but it is unclear if Cricket South Africa will co-operate.

If the minister acts against the board or does anything that could be classed as interfering with the election it could draw sanction from the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Zimbabwe were disqualified from the T20 World Cup qualifiers because of the suspension of the ZC board by the Sport’s Commission in June 2019.

The ICC did not act against India when the Supreme Court suspended the BCCI board and placed cricket under a panel of administrators. Critically this was an act of the judiciary and not the government of India.

Cricket South Africa to answer to Mthethwa

The board will need to satisfy the Sport’s Minister’s curiosity before they are allowed to go ahead with their election.

Moroe has promised to take Cricket South Africa to the labour court over his dismissal and the upcoming elections could spark a revolt among the 14 cricket unions, and those are just the problems visible from the surface.