“We have to sort out a lot of things before we go back to them, they have been very public about what they think we need to do”
Jacques Faul has been Cricket South Africa’s interim chief executive for less than a fortnight, but he is in no doubt about the state of the organisation – “Cricket South Africa is in crisis,” he said yesterday.
Faul is in his second stint as CSA’s interim chief executive, but describes the current state of CSA as significantly worse than when he first took on the role in the wake of the “bonus scandal” in 2012. “I think we have bigger challenges now. We also lost credibility in 2012, but we had a very competitive Proteas team and we had financial resources at the time. I am very concerned about our financial position,” Faul said.
That position is one in which CSA faces mounting debt. The organisation stated two years ago it was forecasting debt of R654 million although the SA Cricketers’ Association in papers submitted to the Johannesburg High Court claim the figure is closer to R1 billion.
CSA has suspended seven members of staff, including chief executive, Thabang Moroe, while four members of the Board of Directors – including three independents – have resigned. Saca has also dragged CSA to court over the proposed restructuring of the domestic programme, then, added to that, sponsors have called for the Board to resign.
Faul has had limited contact with big corporate entities as a result of many closing doors for the holidays, but said that may not be such a bad thing for CSA at the moment. “We have to sort out a lot of things before we go back to them, they have been very public about what they think we need to do,” said Faul.
“Engaging is one thing, but you need to give them something tangible to prove that we have improved our situation. (With) Corporate SA closing, while we’d like to communicate as often as possible with them, this period does give us a little breathing space to sort out our things.”
The most critical elements to set up are an independent management review and the forensic audit into Moroe’s management which will include investigating the “widespread credit card abuse,” Mohammed Iqbal Khan highlighted in his resignation letter.
Faul said the forensic audit should start in early January, while the management review would look at all of CSA’s administrative structures including the Board and its executive committees, although he did not give a date when that review would start. “That’s one way to get credibility back; you have an independent review, which I think is good.”
Yesterday, the Western Province Cricket Association became the third provincial affiliate to call on CSA’s Board to resign. “It’s a sign of the times,” said Faul about WPCA joining Gauteng and KZN in calling for CSA’s Board to resign. “There is a clear division in the various affiliates and the way this needs to be dealt with. It could be an indication that at affiliate level people are still unhappy, they don’t think it is sorted.”
Overall Faul believes CSA’s entire administrative structure may need to change. “The challenge is our two-tier governing system; if you get removed, from say the Board you’re only getting rid of the independent directors really, because everyone else just goes to the Members Council,” he said.
Of the eight remaining directors, four also serve on the Members Council – which is ultimately CSA’s highest authority – owing to their positions as provincial presidents. Jack Madiseng, who resigned from the Board last week, still sits on the Members Council as a result of being Central Gauteng’s president.