South African cricket could find itselfs in the wilderness, after the impasse by the Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) council members and interim board to endorse a new memorandum of incorporation at a special general meeting that would have provided for a majority of independent directors and an independent chairman.
South African cricket was plunged back into crisis on Sunday (April 18) when the country’s sports minister said he had “no option” other than to become directly involved in Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) affairs.
This could result in the withdrawing of government recognition of CSA and jeopardise South Africa’s standing in the International Cricket Council.
Minister Nathi Mthethwa said in a statement that CSA’s members’ council had acted in bad faith in failing to agree to a new governance structure for cricket administration.
Mthethwa said there had been an agreement between the council and the interim board. The failure to ratify the agreement “can only be interpreted as acting in bad faith.”
According to the statement, “The minister will be taking the necessary steps required to exercise his rights in terms of the law prescripts next week.” Under South Africa’s Sports and Recreation Act, the minister is entitled to intervene in “any dispute, alleged mismanagement or other related matter that is likely to bring a sport into disrepute.” Under the Act, the minister can withdraw recognition of CSA and its powers to administer the sport and award national colours.
CSA can avoid ministerial interference if the Members’ Council – the organisation’s highest decision-making body consisting of 14 provincial presidents – agrees on an MOI that lays the foundation for a majority independent board and independent chair. The Members’ Council voted against this at a Special General Meeting on Saturday (April 17).