Cape Town - The South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) has repeated its call for the Board of Cricket South Africa (CSA) to step down.
This follows CSA’s announcement on over the weekend that it had suspended chief executive officer, Thabang Moroe, while the president, vice president and current directors would remain in office.
In a statement released to the media on Monday afternoon, SACA laid out all of their continuing concerns.
These included CSA's financial deficits, systematic breaches of agreements, high profile court cases and legal disputes, reports of uncontrolled spending by staff, admissions of the need for a forensic audit, suspension upon suspension of CSA employees, failure to put in place Proteas team structures, attempts to silence the media, resignations of independent directors citing financial and governance concerns and withdrawal of sponsor Standard Bank.
“We are astounded that the Board of CSA which has led the organisation during a tumultuous period when all this has happened now refuses to take responsibility for the deep, deep crisis in which cricket finds itself,” said SACA chief executive, Tony Irish.
Irish said that although the removal of Moroe was the correct decision, CSA's board seemed desperate to cling to power and that they continued to ignore legitimate concerns raised by SACA time and time again.
“No one disagrees with the removal of the chief executive, but to suggest that the buck stopped with him alone, and for the Board to cling so desperately to power, is a matter for serious concern.
“The president and other Board members in fact ignored the legitimate concerns of SACA and the players for months in the same way that the chief executive did. Formal and detailed letters were sent not only to the chief executive but also to the president and chairman of the finance committee dating back several months. No replies to the letters were ever received. This happened long before SACA launched its court proceedings.
“When SACA’s court application was filed at the end of May 2019 we believe it became incumbent on the Board to, at very least, take a good look at the risk that this presented to the organisation, and to the game, and to deal with it expeditiously. Instead however CSA delayed the proceedings for months and its answering papers were only filed at court in November 2019.”
Irish went on to cite the roadmap forward,agreed in principle between the two organisations in August 2019, which was never followed up on despite SACA asking for further action.
“In August 2019 there was also a real opportunity to resolve the court case and the domestic restructure issue, and to deal with the financial concerns. This directly involved the president, vice president and the chairman of the finance committee and the audit and risk committee (who were all members of the Board). A roadmap agreement was agreed in principle at the meeting but there was then a refusal to follow up on the agreement, despite several requests to do so by SACA. The president himself eventually replied to SACA some seven weeks later stating that CSA would not enter into such agreement with the players’ association, effectively scuppering any chance of resolving these issues for the players."
Irish concluded by saying that SACA were prepared to negotiate with acting CSA chief executive officer, Jacques Faul to discuss and resolve the concerns that they continue to highlight.
He added, however, that they did not want to deal with any current board members or believed they should form part of any CSA negotiating team.
“SACA has noted the appointment of Jacques Faul, as the acting chief executive, and is prepared to deal with him in good faith in order to attempt to resolve as many as possible of the current crises affecting the players. SACA will not however lend credibility to the Board of CSA by dealing with a ‘negotiating panel’ if this comprises any Board members. It is hoped that the new chief executive will appoint a highly competent director of cricket so that, even at this very late stage, he can start putting the best possible professional structure around the Proteas team.
“Cricket has been severely damaged by its own leadership and the game desperately needs the right people in whom the cricket stakeholders, including the players, can trust in attempting to fix as much of the damage as possible,” said Irish.