The Cricket South Africa members’ council has responded to the ‘misrepresentations’ that came from this past weekend’s special general meeting with Minister of Sport Nathi Mthethwa.
The council has come under intense scrutiny after voting against the amendment of the memorandum of incorporation (MOI) at the SGC.
Six out of 14 provincial presidents voted against the adoption of changes, which would have paved the way for a new majority independent board, overseen by an independent chairperson.
Needing 75% of the vote to change the MOI, the motion and mandate of the interim board, given by Mthethwa, ultimately failed.
As a result, Mthethwa gave the CSA members’ council a final ultimatum to reconsider their vote before 5pm on Tuesday or he would use his powers to invoke article 13(5) of the National Sports Act.
The council, however, responded with a statement of its own early on Tuesday morning seeking clarity over some factual accounts from the SGC.
The council highlighted five key points in the statement that led to the impasse after the vote at the SCG. Given the short notice of the SCG, the council criticises the interim board for not allowing sufficient time for the council to deliberate the final MOI draft with the affiliates from each union.
It added that severe political pressure was created before the voting commenced, which shouldn’t have been the case.
1. Notice and Draft MOI
The MOI final draft was received by the MC on Friday, 16 April at 00h38. The notice of the meeting was finally received at 20h26 on the same day. This hardly gave the MC any time to send, discuss and approve the final draft of the MOI with the actual custodians of cricket, which are the affiliates. Hence there was plea for a 7-day extension, which was rejected by the IB.
1. Condoning of defective notice
Whilst all 14 affiliates agreed to the condoning of the defective notice of these,
1. SASCOC provisions
The Affiliates were cognisant of the fact that any amendment to the MOI needed to be endorsed by SASCOC prior to its adoption. In several meetings the MC pleaded with the IB that as part of good governance, the amendments to the MOI ought to be sent to SASCOC for approval. The IB brashly disregarded this plea and indicated that the Minister would manage SASCOC. The Minister also said that the IB should disregard any governance document, legislation or provisions thereof that posed as a hindrance to their mandate.
1. SASCOC sanctions vs Ministerial sanctions
The Affiliates were aware that if they were to adopt the MOI at the SGM without SASCOC’s input, CSA could be suspended or expelled as a National Sport Federation. This would have dire repercussions for our players as they would not be able to represent South Africa on any International stage. MC had to make the decision that placed the sport and its players first.
1. Contentious provisions in the new MOI
1. The margin between the Independent Directors and Non-Independent Directors – Post the meeting between the Minister, IB chairperson and CSA Acting President on 12 April 2021, the IB Chairperson proposed that the Board would comprise of 07 Independent Directors,
2. Independent chairperson – The Minister and the IB continue to stress the fact that they are implementing the Nicholson Recommendations but
3. Objectives of the Company – The Members’ Council are of the opinion that the objectives of the company are to be determined by the Members’ Council and the Board to give effect to implementation of the determined objectives.
4. Affiliates to mirror CSA MOI – The contents of this clause implies that in every structure down to club level, their Boards must have an Independent chairperson, have a majority of Independent Directors and have their CEO and CFO as part of the Board. This is impractical and would result in cricket being administered by non-cricketing individuals at grassroots level.
The refusal by the IB to afford Members’ Council sufficient time to deliberate the final draft of the MOI with their respective affiliates was a catalyst to this impasse. The time span of less than 24 hours to consider such an important document is in our opinion unreasonable. In addition, the duress and political pressure displayed prior to the voting at the SGM was highly unorthodox, unfortunate, and unethical.
An MOI is a document that must be designed to be fit for purpose while adhering to the prescripts of legislation. The Members’ Council does not believe the impasse is unresolvable, it merely implores the IB to respectfully and willingly come to the table and take into consideration what is in the best interests of the Players and cricket as a whole.
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