SACA, CSA Trade Blows On The Trio's Suspension > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - SACA, CSA trade blows over trio's suspension

A CSA board meeting is scheduled for Saturday (November 2).

The incessant skirmishing between Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the SA Cricketers' Association (SACA) erupted into open warfare on Thursday (31 October), with SACA issuing a lengthy press release detailing its take on the suspension of three senior CSA officials earlier in the week.

On Tuesday, CSA suspended officials Naasei Appiah, Corrie van Zyl and Clive Eksteen, alleging that they were to blame for not paying R2-million worth of fees owed to SACA for their players' contribution to last year's Mzansi Super League (MSL).

One of the effects of the non-payment was that SACA refused to allow their members to take part in a commercial activation to be aired by the tournament broadcaster, the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on Wednesday.

On Thursday, SACA all but accused CSA chief executive, Thabang Moroe, of being incompetent, and went so far as to call for an independent inquiry into the 2018 MSL, pointing out that it was Moroe who signed the original commercial rights agreement between the parties on CSA's behalf.

They went on to say in their release that they didn't deal with Appiah on the payment issue and after struggling along with Van Zyl and Eksteen for "ten months" in order to secure the outstanding monies, "it eventually became clear that higher approval to do so was necessary".

"We think it's highly unlikely that CSA's chief executive, Moroe, would not have been aware of the issue," the SACA release continued. "He was undoubtedly aware of payment obligations - he signed the agreement."

SACA have walked a rocky road with CSA since their inception in 2002. There have been times when they've been booted off the board, and times when they've been excluded from the Annual General Meeting. They have even gone so far as to have the presidential right of veto in the selection of national sides abolished, a move that hamstrung then-president Norman Arendse's pretensions to being the national selection convenor.

This said, they might well argue that collective bargaining has been a force for the good. There has never been industrial action in any part of the South African game since re-admission and whatever their private reservations, the two parties have always hammered out a solution for the good of the game.

Such consensus now looks like a relic of less-fraught days. The boosterish Moroe has made it abundantly clear that he has no respect for players' unions, with CSA's press release announcing the suspension of the three referring to SACA as "a player's intermediary".

If this weren't bad enough, the parties have been in court since late May when SACA took CSA to the South Gauteng High Court in an attempt to compel them to share the financial reasoning behind CSA's possible re-structuring of the domestic game. In Thursday's release their complaint is familiar: "CSA have yet to file any answering papers - and they have consistently failed to comply with the time periods prescribed by the rules of court."

SACA's release is significant in one other respect - unlike CSA, who generate releases at will, they tend not to issue them at all, and from this we can infer the stakes are high. Contract re-negotiations for CSA are happening at the moment with sponsors Standard Bank and Momentum, neither of whom will like what's going on, and a CSA board meeting is scheduled for Saturday (2 November). Quite why the suspension of the three couldn't have waited until then is anyone's guess.

After SACA's release, CSA issued another of their own late on Thursday night in which they rejected SACA's calls for an independent investigation into the suspension of the three, who they continue to not name, despite the names being a matter of public record. This, they say, is because the non-payment has been solved. This is true, but it might be interesting to know why it has taken nearly a year (and the suspension of three well-qualified officials) for SACA to receive a relatively small amount.

All the mudslinging is, of course, not doing the game any good at all, which remains at its worse ebb since re-admission. Jacques Rudolph, a well-respected former player, was quoted recently as saying that "a fish rots from the head down" - a clear reference to Moroe, which suggests a hitherto silent constituency might finally be finding its voice.

Indeed, it is difficult not to draw the conclusion that CSA, with its serial inefficiencies, legal battles, dwindling finances and under-performing national side, isn't becoming a version of former president Jacob Zuma's failed South African state. Moroe's manoeuvres are straight out of the Zuma playbook, with a laughably weak board (read Zuma's executive) sitting by while the game unravels. It seems their fiduciary duties are less important than their meeting fees and honorariums, an impression they have an opportunity to correct when they meet in Johannesburg on Saturday.

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