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Saca calls on CSA boss to act

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The spotlight is now firmly on Cricket SA chief executive.

Cricket South Africa chief executive Thabang Moroe has a lot on his plate. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

THE South African Cricketers Association (Saca) have placed the spotlight firmly on Cricket SA chief executive Thabang Moroe in the latest scandal to hit the embattled organisation.

CSA suspended three officials – current interim director of cricket, Corrie van Zyl, chief operating officer Naasei Appiah, and the head of sales and sponsorship, Clive Eksteen – on Wednesday in regards to alleged non-payment of player fees, stemming from the Mzansi Super League arrangement, in 2018.

However Saca, who represent over 300 professional cricketers in the country, have expressed surprise at the suspensions of the three officials in relation to the image rights issue.

“We are very surprised that Naasei Appiah, Corrie van Zyl and Clive Eksteen have been suspended in relation to allegations surrounding CSA’s non-compliance with the 2018 MSL commercial agreement,” said Saca’s chief executive Tony Irish. “Saca didn’t deal with Appiah on this issue and in its dealings with Van Zyl and Eksteen over many months they both expressed a strong desire to resolve the payment issue, but it eventually became clear that higher approval to do so was necessary. We think it’s highly unlikely that CSA’s chief executive, Thabang Moroe, would not have been aware of this ongoing issue. He was undoubtedly aware of payment obligations as he had signed the agreement.”

With Saca virtually absolving the suspended trio, Moroe is immediately placed under scrutiny, particularly after CSA explained the suspension as being “in line with the effort of ensuring that the principle of accountability is applied equally, fairly and without fear or favour throughout the organisation”.

Saca are particularly cognisant of this statement, and have requested that an external review be put in place to ensure absolute transparency.

“We note CSA’s statement that it has taken decisive action to protect player interest and the game and that it is conducting an investigation into the matter relating to the non-payment of the 2018 MSL agreement,” said Irish.

“We also note the statement by CSA’s chief executive that CSA adheres to the highest ethical standards in all its dealings and that consistency and accountability remain uppermost in its processes and procedures.

“Saca believes that the matters that are set out above are as important as the MSL commercial agreement issue, if not more so, in order to protect both player interests and the interests of the game.

“We also note the statements of CSA’s head of communications, Thamie Mthembu, that CSA’s investigation would go deeper into uncovering how the MSL dispute came about. Saca accordingly calls upon CSA not only to ensure that its investigation into this MSL issue is conducted by an independent person, or organisation, but also that an independent investigation is conducted into these related matters. We believe that this will ensure that the principle of accountability, referred to by CSA’s chief executive, is in fact applied equally, fairly and without fear or favour.”