Johannesburg: Cricket South Africa has averted a further delay in implementing its transformation plans by accepting an arbitration award in favour of former CSA president Norman Arendse. The Board of Directors of unanimously accepted the award and will recommend to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) that the number of independent directors be increased from five to six to include both Arendse and the original five accepted nominees.
Arendse challenged the earlier decision to exclude him, despite having been considered one of the best qualified candidates by a selection panel. CSA had cited a recently-introduced clause, debarring anyone who has served in cricket in the preceding three years to be appointed to the Board of Directors. Arendse stepped down as CSA president almost three years ago after a vote of no confidence by CSA affiliates, some of whom nominated him this time around.
CSA said in a statement that the addition of Arendse as a sixth director falls within the ambit of the Articles of Association, which allow for a minimum of five independent directors. The Board is now awaiting the outcome of the mediation between CSA and the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) by deputy minister of sport and recreation, Gert Oosthuizen, before recommending the final composition of the independent component part of the new Board to the AGM.
The date of the delayed AGM will be determined by the outcome of the Ministerial Mediation process and the logistics associated with the changing of the Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI). The Board has also resolved to initiate the process of seeking a new CEO who will be appointed by the new Board. Long-serving CEO Gerald Majola was dismissed recently after a drawn-out process following two years of wrangling inside CSA over IPL 2 bonuses that he paid himself and other CSA staff irregularly.
IPL 2 was played in South Africa due to security concerns around elections at the time in India. Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula eventually instituted the Nicholson Committee of Inquiry, which recommended disciplinary and possible criminal action against Majola. The inquiry also recommended drastic changes in the top structure of CSA. "I must once again compliment the Board members on the positive, forthright and united manner in which they have continued to take this matter forward to what we are determined to make a successful conclusion," commented CSA Acting CEO Willie Basson.
"They have not always got the credit they deserve for the work they have done over the past nine months. They have created a state of the art governance structure in line with the Nicholson Committee of Enquiry recommendations that is going to be important not just for cricket but for all South African sport," Basson concluded.