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An error in judgement

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Thabang Moroe issued a statement in which he apologised to five members of the media who had their accreditation revoked at the weekend – calling it an “error in judgement”.

Thabang Moroe (CEO: Cricket SA). Picture: Christiaan Kotze/BackpagePix

Cricket South Africa’s Board of Directors will hold an emergency meeting on Saturday with the controversy that has enveloped the organisation showing no signs of abating.

Late yesterday the organisation’s chief executive Thabang Moroe, who has been under siege in recent days, issued a statement in which he apologised to five members of the media who had their accreditation revoked at the weekend – calling it an “error in judgement” – and to the Cricket SA’s sponsors who were made to look as if they continued to support CSA despite last weekend’s controversy.

“It is understandable that my job as CEO is always under the microscope,” Moroe said in the statement. “It’s not just for ethical reasons but for my love of cricket that I adhere to due process, especially during uncomfortable moments.”

While Moroe highlighted “due process,” earlier yesterday Shirley Zinn, one of the five independent directors on CSA’s Board resigned citing CSA’s failure to adhere to good corporate governance standards.

“I believe very strongly that those principles (of good governance) need to be adhered to and guarded,” she said.  The revoking of accreditation of five journalists last weekend, blocking them from entering stadiums, upset Zinn,  further accelerating her departure from CSA.

“The last two days really broke my back, it was a step too far,” said Zinn of the decision by CSA’s senior administration to prevent the five journalists from covering matches. “The story about Graeme Smith in the Sunday Times, was the end for me,” she added.

The Sunday Times had reported that Smith was set to be announced as the Director of Cricket, but on Monday Smith said that was not the case. Independent Media understands that Smith, who announced he was withdrawing from the process to appoint the Director two weeks ago, has been asked by Cricket SA to reconsider.

It is believed he held a meeting with CSA president Chris Nenzani, Zinn and Moroe, in Cape Town late last week, where it is understood he reiterated that the various concerns he had about CSA that still had to be addressed.

Meanwhile, also yesterday, Standard Bank, the title sponsor of the Proteas said it had expressed its “displeasure at the unsatisfactory manner in which CSA had engaged some of its stakeholders,” regarding governance issues. Standard Bank met with CSA officials – including Moroe – on Monday evening about “governance and conduct challenges that have tarnished the image of cricket in South Africa.”
“As a major sponsor of cricket in South Africa, we believe that we should have been afforded the courtesy to be kept abreast of these developments within CSA, and not to hear about them from the media in the unfortunate manner that we did,” said Thulani Sibeko, the bank’s chief marketing officer.

Standard Bank also acknowledged CSA’s undertaking to “urgently implement remedial actions to address stakeholder concerns.”
Cricket SA said that the postponement of yesterday’s press conference was necessitated by the scheduling of the emergency Board meeting on Saturday at which, according to a separate CSA statement, “important decisions will be made.”

One insider told Independent Media that in recent times, the Board has become “very divided,” over Moroe and in a number of meetings concerns have been expressed about his conduct.