Nathi Mthethwa (Gallo Images)
- The ICC has been informed of Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa’s intention to intervene in the running of South African cricket.
- It is a major blow to CSA in its efforts to secure its independence.
- This development could also potentially place the Proteas at risk.
South African Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa has written to the International Cricket Council (ICC) confirming that government will now intervene in the running of Cricket South Africa (CSA).
It is a majorly significant development given that the ICC’s constitution states that, when its member bodies lose their independence and are taken over by governmental or political control, they run the risk of being sidelined from international tours and major ICC events.
The Proteas, who have not played international cricket since March, are now running that risk.
Mthethwa has been engaging CSA for weeks ever since the organisation approached the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) a month ago.
Those discussions have centred around requests for the entire CSA leadership and board, including acting president Beresford Williams, to step down and for a Sascoc-appointed task team to run the organisation until such time as a new board could be implemented.
The highly-publicised Fundudzi forensic report has also formed a major part of the discussions, with government having eventually muscled its way into receiving the report in full towards the end of last week.
The report interrogates the CSA leadership dating back to 2016 and was the vehicle that ultimately saw former CEO Thabang Moroe dismissed.
On Tuesday, the sports portfolio committee and its members, in a meeting with CSA, again called for Williams to step down.
Then, on Wednesday morning, the department of sport confirmed the news that cricket fans around the country have been fearing.
“Efforts have been made over several months to try and assist CSA to stabilise its governance matters. This, after a huge outcry regarding the failure of its leadership to effectively manage its affairs,” a statement read.
Minister Mthethwa added: “Having evaluated the discussions as well as the subsequent reporting on this matter, I have now reached a point where I see no value in any further engagement with CSA.”
Mthethwa confirmed that he had written to the ICC to inform the game’s governing body of his intentions while he also gave CSA a deadline of 17:00 on 27 October to “make written representations, should they wish to, on why he should not exercise his decision to intervene as enjoined by the laws of the country.”
“The ball is now firmly in the court of CSA,” the statement concluded.