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SASCOC refers CSA investigation to sports ministry

Seeks additional resources to do its job, or failing that, requests minister Mthethwa to take action

Firdose Moonda
Firdose Moonda
Cricket South Africa is navigating through troubled waters  •  Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Cricket South Africa is navigating through troubled waters  •  Alex Davidson/Getty Images

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) has referred Cricket South Africa (CSA) to the country's sports ministry, citing a lack of co-operation from CSA and absence of resources on its own part to deal with the organisation.
Earlier this month, SASCOC, the governing body under which all sporting federations in South Africa operate, instructed CSA's board and executive to stand down in order for SASCOC to launch an investigation into CSA's administrative and financial affairs. SASCOC also asked for full access to CSA's recently-completed forensic audit, which it used to fire former CEO Thabang Moroe. CSA refused on both counts.
In a letter to sports minister Nathi Mthethwa, SASCOC said it had met "serious resistance," from CSA over the report and that CSA has made it "abundantly clear," it will "not readily cooperate with SASCOC." As a result, SASCOC has asked the minister to either provide it with the resources to enter into litigation (SASCOC can compel CSA to comply with it by law) against CSA or to "take whatever action in your powers you deem necessary to restore the dignity of the game of cricket in this country."
SASCOC's letter, dated September 25, 2020, implied that the impasse between itself and CSA is ongoing. On September 17, CSA confirmed it would only allow SASCOC board members to view its forensic report if they signed a non-disclosure agreement. CSA Board Members who have seen the report also had to agree to keep its confidentiality but SASCOC want the report to be made public. CSA said it was keeping the report under wraps, under legal advice, to ensure any further action it may take against existing staff or board members is not compromised. SASCOC has indicated that some board members and executive "must have been implication in the forensic report," and "remain in office and refuse to step aside pending finalisation of the investigations to be carried out by the independent task team."
The SASCOC task team was due to appointed earlier this month but that has not happened yet. SASCOC has also declined further meetings with CSA, insisting that it will only be willing to engage in discussion once it has access to the full report. With the deadlock in place, cash-strapped SASCOC have had no choice but to ask the minister to intervene.
The minister's actions, if any, could attract the attention of the ICC, whose constitution forbids government interference in member bodies. SASCOC has written to the ICC confirming its actions do not constitute a government intervention, because it operates as an independent body, but it's appeal to the sports minister crosses that line. SASCOC has made it clear that the only reason it is asking for the minister's assistance is because it does not have the resources to act but that if provided with such it "will gladly take all appropriate steps to intervene in its (CSA's) affairs." If not, SASCOC wishes the minister "with your efforts in dealing with very serious issues plaguing CSA."
Meanwhile, CSA remain without a permanent CEO after firing Moroe last month and without an elected president after Chris Nenzani stepped down three weeks before the AGM, which was postponed. No date has been set for a rescheduled AGM and no fixtures for the upcoming season have been released, with the only confirmation around matches that the Mzansi Super League, the country's flagship T20 tournament, will be postponed.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent