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Minister could strip CSA of its powers

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Sports Minister, Nathi Mthethwa could this week ban Cricket South Africa from being the authority that runs the sport in country

Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa will this week ban Cricket South Africa from being the authority that runs the sport in country. Picture: Jairus Mmutle, GCIS

JOHANNESBURG – Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa could this week ban Cricket South Africa from being the authority that runs the sport in country after the organisation’s provincial presidents failed to vote for the necessary amendments to allow a restructuring of CSA’s administration.

In a statement early Sunday morning, Mthethwa described the CSA Members Council’s – the most powerful authority in the organisation, comprising 14 presidents – decision as disappointing. The statement added that Mthethwa was left with no option but to “exercise his rights in terms of section 13(5) of the Sports Act.”

That section of the Act allows the Minister to, among other things, remove recognition of the federation as the authority of the sport and that the department will no longer provide funding for the organisation. The funding from government for CSA was minimal, but sponsors are not likely to want to be associated with an organisation that has been banned.

The International Cricket Council too, will not take kindly to government’s intervention. Mthethwa’s office has kept the ICC informed about the affairs around CSA, but the international body has the right to ban South Africa.

Mthethwa’s decision follows a dramatic Special General Meeting on Saturday where the amendments to CSA’s Memorandum of Incorporation were simply set to be ratified. The Members Council, a week earlier had informed Mthethwa, that it had agreed to the changes, which were necessary to allow a new board of directors to confirmed, the majority of whom would be independent directors, with chairman also being an independent.

Originally, when the Members Council took that decision, nine presidents agreed to the changes. However at the formal vote on Saturday, that changed. A majority of 75% of the Members Council needed to vote in favour of amending the MoI, but only 43% – six members did, five voted against and extraordinarily, given the importance of what was being decided, there were three presidents who abstained.

The chairman of the Interim Board, Dr Stavros Nicolaou, said: “What happened (Saturday) was extremely disappointing and certainly not in the best interests of cricket. A minority of the Members’ Council have yet again shown itself to place self-preservation ahead of the interests of the game and indeed, the national interest.”

@shockerhess