South Africa sports minister issues another ultimatum to CSA
Nathi Mthethwa has threatened intervention if CSA cannot adopt a memorandum of incorporation (MOI) that promotes good governance
South Africa's sports' minister Nathi Mthethwa has issued a second ultimatum in six months to CSA's Members' Council and threatened intervention into the body if it cannot adopt a memorandum of incorporation (MOI) that promotes good governance in cricket.
Mthethwa's action comes after the Members' Council - the highest-decision making body at CSA, made up of the 14 provincial presidents - rejected the interim board's proposal for a majority independent board last week thus making the drawing up of an acceptable MOI impossible. Mthethwa met with the Members' Council and interim board on Tuesday evening and has given the Members' Council until April 6 to come to an agreement with the interim board or face ministerial action intended to support the country's cricketers.
"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," Mthethwa said.
According to South Africa's National Sport and Recreation Act, Mthethwa has the power to intervene "in any dispute, alleged mismanagement or other related matter that is likely to bring a sport into disrepute". He can also take away funding from CSA and may no longer recognise it as a national federation.
This threat has hung over CSA since October last year when Mthethwa notified the ICC that he may be required to intervene in CSA following months of administrative malfunction. Shortly thereafter, the Members' Council agreed to ratify an interim board imposed on them by Mthethwa, who were mandated to disentangle South African cricket from its many messes, ranging from a financial crisis to the disciplinary proceedings of several senior members of staff.
The interim board were given an initial three-month period to complete their work but that has since been extended for a further three months and is expected to end in mid April. CSA's AGM, postponed from September last year, is due to take place on April 17, by which time an MOI which lays out a framework for a new, mostly-independent board, should be ready for adoption.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent