Cricket South Africa has avoided ministerial interference after the Members' Council - the highest decision-making body in the organisation, made up of 14 provincial presidents - agreed to a majority independent board with an independent chairperson. The composition of the new board will be documented in CSA's new Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI), which the minister-appointed interim board is overseeing.
Initially, the Members' Council was resistant to a majority independent board, despite agreeing to one almost a decade ago following the Gerald Majola bonus scandal.
Under a majority non-independent board, CSA has since spiralled through crises, which last year resulted in the firing of former CEO Thabang Moroe, the suspension of several senior staff and the resignation of the entire board. South Africa's sports minister Nathi Mthethwa then stepped in, attempting to force CSA to iron out its governance issues under an interim board, who have been in charge since last November.
The Members' Council resisted several aspects of the interim board involvement, most notably the composition of a new board, prompting Mthethwa to issue an ultimatum that he would use the country's National Sports and Recreation Act to intervene if needs be, which could have resulted in official recognition being withdrawn from CSA. Mthethwa gave the Members Council until 6pm on Friday to agree on an MOI that stipulates a majority independent board and independent chair, which they eventually accepted.
"I take this opportunity to congratulate CSA through the CSA Acting President and Interim Board Chair for this positive act of putting cricket first," Mthethwa said. "As has been my position since the appointment of the Interim Board, I regard this breakthrough as the end of my involvement in the current process. As the two points of difference were the main obstacles threatening the April 2021 AGM, I have no doubt that the requisite numbers needed to adopt the MOI by the AGM will be achieved. The ball is now in the hands of the two parties."
The details of the MOI will now be outlined and a report prepared for CSA's AGM, at which point the interim board's tenure will end. As things stand, their work is due to be complete by April 15, but that may be extended.