In what the Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture has described as “an extraordinary demonstration of patience”, Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Tuesday agreed to give the warring factions in Cricket South Africa another week in which to sort out their differences and adopt a new Memorandum of Incorporation for the new Board that is meant to be installed after the AGM on April 17.
The Interim Board have proposed a new MoI which seeks to rectify the poor governance in cricket by having a board with a majority of independent directors, as well as an independent chair.
But the Members Council, made up of the provincial presidents, has refused to accept this and the impasse has grown uglier by the day.
Mthethwa, who put the Interim Board in place in October last year, met with the two parties on Tuesday night and his department then issued a follow-up statement on Wednesday morning that would have left no-one in doubt as to who the sports minister is backing.
The statement reads: “In an extraordinary demonstration of patience, Minister Mthethwa said, ‘It is important not to allow boardroom disputes to trump player welfare. I am being dared to take executive action.
“In my opinion, it is clear that the court of public opinion shows no appetite for any unnecessary delays and own-goals, especially at a time when sponsors have demonstrated unbelievable loyalty and patience.
“Despite clarification on some misinterpretations and being provided with cricket best practice elsewhere in the world, the Members Council still clung to the 2013 CSA stance of ‘cricket needing to be run by cricket people’. Amongst the points of clarification were the fact that ‘independent’ does not necessarily translate to ‘cricket illiteracy’.”
In an environment that currently features as much intrigue as in a Sydney Sheldon novel, the Members Council are still deeply suspicious of having a majority of independent directors, but it was pointed out to them that a majority could mean as little as 51%.