Cricket South Africa once again finds itself in the throes of a governance crisis.
This, after its members’ council voted against amendments in the Memorandum of Incorporation at a special general meeting.
CSA’s interim board has been working on getting the members’ council to agree to a majority independent board in the future, but despite indications that they were being swayed, only six of the 14 members voted that way at the special general meeting, with five voting against and three abstentions.
The CSA SGM failure places the organisation in the firing line of Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa‚ who has made it clear that he wants a majority independent board and an independent chairperson.
Mthethwa looks set to use the National Sports and Recreation Act to step in, which gives him the right to – amongst other things – withdraw funding and no longer officially recognise CSA as the governing body of cricket.
That means that CSA would no longer legally be able to run cricket in this country and the national men’s, women’s and age-group teams will not be allowed to wear the Protea badge or claim to represent South Africa in international competition. In real terms, it could impact South Africa’s schedule, which is currently lean, but should next see a men’s tour to the West Indies in June.
With CSA on the brink of a renegotiation of its television rights deal with pay provider SuperSport, it also means that any action Mthethwa takes could impact severely on the willingness of broadcasters to engage with CSA and therefore on the game’s long-term finances.
However, whether Mthethwa’s steps will be that drastic are not known yet at this stage. In a statement, his office said he “will be taking the necessary steps required to exercise his rights in terms of the law prescripts next week”.