At least six members of the Cricket South Africa (CSA) board have acceded to the request of the nembers' council - the highest decision-making body in South African cricket, made up of the 14 provincial affiliate presidents - and stood down from their positions. The list included acting president Beresford Williams, who took over from Chris Nenzani in August, leaving CSA without a president for now.
The development came after the members' council had asked the entire board to step down last Thursday at a meeting convened to deliberate on the best course of action for cricket in the country and CSA. At that time, no board members had offered to resign, and CSA also issued a statement confirming it. However, at a second meeting on Sunday, Williams, Donovan May, Tebogo Siko, Angelo Carolissen, John Mogodi and Dheven Dharmalingam quit from their positions. All but Dharmalingam had been elected to the board via their provinces and, therefore, were non-independent members of the board, while Dharmalingam is an independent director, appointed in May this year. Dharmalingham was also the only board member to indicate a willingness to offer his resignation, if the members' council requested it, on Friday. He has since made good on his word.
That left just four members remaining on the board, of which only one, Zola Thamae (vice-president of Free State) comes from within the cricket structure. The other three, Marius Schoeman, Eugenia Kula-Ameyaw and Vuyokazi Memani-Sedile, are all independent directors. ESPNcricinfo understands more board resignations may come before Tuesday, when CSA is scheduled to present South Africa's sports minister, Nathi Mthethwa, reasons why he should not intervene in their affairs.
Meanwhile, Rihan Richards, president of the Northern Cape Cricket, has been named president of the members' council, which leaves CSA without a president at this stage. CSA confirmed the six resignations on their Twitter account and issued this statement: "As mentioned in Friday's press statement, the CSA Board met this week & discussed various strategies that would best position CSA. One of these approaches was that if the Board would need to step down for the best interest of CSA & cricket as a whole, the Board would then do so."
It remains unclear where this leaves CSA as the embattled organisation charts the way forward following a tumultuous year. Mthethwa is understood to want the entire CSA board to step aside, in compliance with the instructions from the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), the umbrella body under which all South African sports federations operate. SASCOC has also asked for CSA's executive to temporarily stand down while it conducts an investigation into CSA's affairs, and unrestricted access to the forensic report which CSA used to fire former CEO Thabang Moroe, and which implicates, amongst others, Williams. CSA has refused to meet those demands, causing SASCOC to refer the matter to Mthethwa.
According to the National Sport and Recreation Act in South Africa, Mthethwa can, among other things, withdraw funding for CSA and strip it of recognition as the game's governing body in the country. He may not go those extremes, especially after approving an incoming tour of England next month, but may still want CSA to commit to a task team being appointed to run the game while an inquiry is held to its governance.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent