It was never going to be easy for the interim board of Cricket South Africa to fulfil their mandate from Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa to reform the game in this country, and on Wednesday they lost their chairman, Judge Zak Yacoob, who stepped down following his abusive telephone call with a journalist.
Mthethwa issued a statement saying Yacoob had recused himself by “mutual agreement” and “this decision was made out of an abundance of caution to safeguard the tremendous work done by the interim board under his stewardship. The judge has shown remorse and apologised.”
The minister added that he hoped the interim board will be able to convene CSA’s delayed AGM soon, where a new, permanent board will be appointed. But the current directors have many obstacles to overcome, including the difficulties associated with winning over many on the Members Council, and the legal challenges emanating from the dismissal of director Omphile Ramela and the suspension of CSA executive staff.
Interim board spokesperson Judith February cast a positive note on Wednesday however.
“We don’t foresee the departure of Judge Yacoob affecting any work we have done so far, because all our decisions have been taken together, they’re not just the decisions of the chairman,” February told The Citizen on Wednesday afternoon.
“We are all quite clear in our minds about the proceedings against Mr Ramela and all the other legal actions we are involved in. So we are forging ahead, even though it is an unfortunate but unavoidable turn of events.”
Dr Stavros Nicolaou will now take over as chairman of the interim board and February said they are making good progress towards finalising a date for the AGM.
But because the organisation’s whole Memorandum of Incorporation (MoI) has to be changed to comply with the Nicholson recommendations (as per Mthethwa’s mandate), there has to first be full consultation with the Members Council on the amendments.
“We have a meeting with the Members Council this evening (Wednesday night) to discuss certain requirements that are needed in the MoI and need to be finalised with the Members Council,” February said. “We will update them on the work we’ve done on the roadmap to the AGM, which is one of the most important parts of the work of this board.
“The Nicholson recommendations have to be implemented, but through a process of consultation as to how we do that, there are numerous nuances to consider like the number of directors. But there will be an independent board and the Members Council’s powers will change, we can’t get away from that.”