Dr. Jacques Faul has resigned as acting CEO of Cricket South Africa, on the same day that the organisation revealed Chris Nenzani had stepped down as president over the weekend and COO Naasei Appiah had been fired. Faul, who was seconded from the Titans in December 2019, was due to return to his role with the franchise on September 15, but has opted to leave his post four weeks early.
While Faul was not available for comment on Monday evening, ESPNcricinfo understands that he chose to leave his post following a heated board meeting in which his position became untenable. An acting CEO is expected to be named imminently, with Appiah, who is fighting his dismissal in court making himself "available" on a radio show minutes after news of Faul's resignation was made public. Company secretary Welsh Gwaza, who was at the board meeting and was unable to divulge any information, is one of the names being mentioned for the acting role.
The search for a permanent CEO can only get underway once the case of suspended CEO Thabang Moroe has been clarified. Moroe was suspended in December and has been on full pay since then while CSA waited for a forensic audit in order to charge Moroe for alleged wrongdoing. Last week, Moroe met with CSA but they were unable to reach a conclusion. He is expected to return to meet CSA this week with several sources anticipating he will be fired. Moroe's lawyers have expressed an intention to take CSA to court if that is the case. Only then, and if Moroe does not return to his job, can CSA be able to begin the process of appointing someone for the job full-time.
In the meantime, CSA will elect a new president on September 15 with the board under increasing pressure to step down. South Africa's main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), issued a statement on Monday demanding that Nenzani appear before parliament to answer questions over his role in the administrative meltdown that led to Moroe's suspension. The DA has also called vice-president Beresford Williams and "the rest of the CSA Board to follow suit and tender their resignations as well."
Similar calls have been made in the past by the South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) and several sponsors who were concerned about corporate governance at CSA under Moroe. That led to Faul taking over as acting CEO as part of an overhaul at the top level of South African cricket, with influential former players Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher brought in as director of cricket and head coach respectively.
Smith had previously declined the role under Moroe but has since confirmed he is willing to continue in his role even if the executive changed. "My commitment is still there to want to go good in South African cricket and to move forward with whoever the leadership is going to be," Smith said on August 1. There are now worries that Smith may walk away as well, with infighting at board level increasing. Ultimately, it was the inability to see eye-to-eye with the board that ended Faul's second stint as acting CEO. He had earlier taken over following the suspension of Gerald Majola in March 2012, and had remained in the role until his resignation in July 2012.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent