Cricket South Africa postpones AGM in wake of forensic audit findings

Cricket South Africa postpones AGM in wake of forensic audit findings
Cricket South Africa has postponed its AGM scheduled for 5 September 2020. (Photo: Adobestock)

After weeks of teetering on the brink of collapse under the pressure of poor corporate governance, Cricket South Africa finally made a sensible decision – to postpone its scheduled annual general meeting.

On Monday evening Cricket South Africa (CSA) delivered the message most stakeholders wanted to hear – the annual general meeting scheduled for 5 September could not go ahead while so many issues remain unresolved.

The sport’s governing body needs to elect a new president and fill several key positions on its board. But none of that could happen in the current climate, where the publication of the findings of an independent forensic audit into the state of the game are essential to understanding the scope and scale of poor corporate governance that has plagued CSA for years.

Various stakeholders, from Affiliated Unions such as the Central Gauteng Lions, to independent administrators, have called for the postponement until the forensic audit can be studied. It seems the pressure has paid off – for now.

Moroe gone, but CSA is far from functional

It’s also a very clear indication that the details contained in the forensic audit implicate some individuals who were nominated for election at the coming AGM.

The statement from CSA on Monday night also referenced that it was willing to look back at the recommendations of the 2012 Nicholson Commission of Inquiry into Cricket. That inquiry, which came in the wake of a scandal involving then-president Gerald Majola, recommended that CSA expand the appointment of independent directors.

Ideally, it stated, the CSA board should be staffed by a majority of independents rather than stakeholders to avoid conflicts of interest. Unfortunately, Nicholson’s recommendations were never followed and within a few years the organisation was nearly crippled because of it.

Cricket SA bosses: Nicholson who?

Recently sacked CEO Thabang Moroe ran the organisation like a personal fiefdom with little or no oversight from the board. Currently seven members of the board are also provincial union presidents. There is little to no impartiality, which is the major reason why the board failed in its fiduciary duties.

It’s quite clear now that the forensic audit has unsurprisingly raised the issue of a compromised board and the need for an independent chairperson.

“There are certain critical processes at CSA which are underway,” a statement from CSA read. “It relates to the following:

  • the review of the governance model of CSA on the outstanding matters recommended by the Nicholson Commission of Inquiry in its report; and
  • the (a) review and implementation of the findings and recommendations made by Fundudzi Forensic Services Proprietary Limited in its report (Forensic Report) following completion of the forensic investigation conducted by Fundudzi into various governance issues within CSA during a period of 48 (forty eight) months from 2016 to 2019, and (b) formulation and adoption of a comprehensive roadmap.

“These strategic structural matters and remedial actions require various steps to be undertaken in the following:

  • engagement with the Members Council on the various issues they have raised and ensure alignment for the stability of CSA;
  • engagement with the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, SASCOC and other stakeholders of CSA;
  • the extension of the recruitment process for any Board and Board committee vacancies that may arise following completion of the above strategic review;
  • a detailed review of CSA’s Transformation strategy that takes account of the launch of the office of the Independent Transformation Ombudsman; and
  • the reconfiguration of the organisational structure to ensure that the remedial actions recommended by Fundudzi of the forensic review are implemented.

“In order to allow CSA and its stakeholders an opportunity to fully consider and participate in the finalisation of the matters referred to above, the Board of Directors of CSA and the Members Council have resolved to postpone the AGM.

“Consequently the AGM will not be held on 5 September 2020. CSA will accordingly announce a new date for the AGM in due course. The notice related to the AGM will be circulated in due course.”

In the past fortnight CSA president Chris Nenzani, acting CEO Jacques Faul and board member Steve Cornelius resigned. That came in the wake of the nine-month disciplinary saga involving Moroe. He was eventually sacked last Thursday based on findings contained in the forensic audit, although the exact details remain unclear. DM


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