Moroe The Macbeth In This CSA-drama With Not A Good Guy > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more
Cricket news - Moroe the Macbeth in this CSA drama with no good guys
With the strong bond between CEO Moroe and president Nenzani going kaput, Moroe's remaining allies on the board are taking aim at Nenzani now
Some of Thabang Moroe's best friends are Cricket South Africa (CSA) board members. That remains true even as pressure, from inside and outside the organisation, mounts on the under fire chief executive to resign. But the previously strong bond between Moroe and CSA's president, Chris Nenzani, has been broken. Now Moroe's remaining allies on the board are taking aim at Nenzani for the mess the game is in. That is hardly surprising considering other alliances will need to be strengthened before Nenzani, having overstayed his welcome by a year, vacates his position in 2020. Even so, it offers an illuminating twist on a narrative that has hitherto dumped all the ills on Moroe's desk.
There was more of that, although nudged in the board's direction, in the letter Mohamed Iqbal Khan wrote to Nenzani on Wednesday to resign from CSA's board: "The criticism in the media, and by the public who love and support cricket, has reached such a crescendo that I can no longer be deaf to the cries for immediate changes at CSA board level. Before ... Shirley Zinn resigned [from the board this week], I still maintained that I would give things a chance, and wait until at least Saturday [when a board meeting is scheduled] for us to address the deep crisis we find ourselves in. I seriously doubt however that you and/or the board is capable of doing so, and in the circumstances, I have reached the only conclusion, and that is that I must resign my position on the board as well as my position as chairperson of the CSA finance committee."
Khan wrote that, "Unfortunately, all the fingers point at the CEO. But having said that, I cannot believe that you are not aware of the many issues that have caused this malaise, and to that extent, you are also complicit, and perhaps even the entire board. However, I can no longer be party to an organisation that is fast ruining the game. ... I can no longer afford to be held accountable for the misconduct of the CEO. If I continue one day further as a member of the board, I will become an accomplice to what the CEO has done, and is doing."
Khan slammed Sunday's decision, rescinded six hours later, to revoke the accreditation of five senior journalists as "certainly unconstitutional and illegal" and said "blaming the head of communications [Thamie Mthembu] for mis-communicating or failing to communicate effectively with the media when he is ultimately responsible for such communication". He damned Moroe further with " ...if the CEO is or was not aware of what is happening in his office, then this aggravates his conduct". Khan also alleged, among other issues, "several resignations in the CSA office due to what they claim is a legally toxic environment", "widespread credit card abuse in the office", and "very selective communication with SACA [the South African Cricketers' Association, who on Wednesday threatened strike action], and a failure to engage with them in terms of the CSA collective agreement with SACA".
Khan's strong statements are being widely reported, less so that he is apparently being investigated by CSA's ethics structures over a potential conflict of interest - his professional superior is Mustaq Ahmed Brey, who sits on the board of the Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA). Another member of the latter, Fagmeedah Petersen-Cook, formerly of the Gauteng Cricket Board (GCB), posted on social media: "Jack Madiseng positioning himself for CSA presidency? As guilty as all the non-independents in the patronage network. I resigned as lead independent at Gauteng because of his behaviour."
That brings us, admittedly not before time, to Moroe's remaining allies, his rift with Nenzani, and what needs to happen in the coming months to keep power in South African cricket where it is now. In a letter to Nenzani and his vice-president, Beresford Williams, dated November 29, Madiseng, the GCB president and a member of the CSA board who has recently been made chair of the influential cricket committee, mounted a strong defence of Moroe - which meant attacking the lame duck Nenzani and his deputy. "I would like to exercise my fiduciary duty as a board member of CSA and express my disappointment at both of you for the poor or lack of leadership that we find our brand in," Madiseng wrote. "I could have taken an easy path and resigned. Fortunately, I have mentors and guides that have advised me to be part of the change and solution at CSA. So I decided to act responsibly as a member of this board and bring the concerns stipulated below for your attention. ... The poor CEO has been getting all the klaps [slaps] and punches from the media and the public without the presence of the CSA leadership, which is both of you. Let me unpack a couple of examples ... to demonstrate your poor or non-visible leadership which has led to the excruciating and bad personal brand reputation of our CEO."
Whereupon Madiseng launched into critiques of the breakdown of CSA's relationship with the WPCA, the ongoing delay in making key appointments, a slew of high-level suspensions, transformation issues, and a domestic restructure that could cost 70 players their jobs. "The leadership was nowhere to be found; non-existent and non-visible. The operational team [Moroe and his staff] is all alone. ... My expectation was for both of you [Nenzani and Williams] to take the leadership and face the music on behalf of the board and executive team. It didn't happen. ... Kudos to the CEO and his executive for having the balls to take such astronomical and damaging reports from the public and media. ... Your non-visibility gave the media and the public a perception that the CEO unilaterally makes all the decisions, which is not true. We all know that the CEO can't act without a mandate from both of you. I hold ourselves (the board) accountable and not the CEO and his executive team. ... If someone had to be fired or dismissed, in all honesty, the entire board should be fired or dissolved for rubbishing CSA's brand."
It is true that turkeys do not vote for Christmas, but it is just as true that the turkeys who run South African cricket are a special breed. Madiseng says the only response he has had to his letter is a "defensive call from the leadership", and that despite him following it up with "a reminder which fell on deaf ears".
Madiseng followed Moroe as president of the GCB, and Moroe was CSA's vice-president before being appointed their chief executive. The alliance between the two men runs deep, and its logical next level would be for Madiseng to succeed Nenzani as CSA president next year. Hence the conscious loosening of the ties between Moroe and the now expendable Nenzani. Williams will likely be Madiseng's opponent in the coming fight. But, for that plan to come together, Moroe needs to keep his job - which is by no means certain what with figures of the stature of Ali Bacher, a known confidante of Moroe, now saying he should go.
In a statement on Thursday, the Willowton Group, whose Sunfoil subsidiary has in the past been a major CSA sponsor and still supports the game, added their voice to what Khan rightly called a crescendo. The company called for the "immediate resignation of the CEO", the "immediate resignation of the president", the "immediate reinstatement of the three suspended CSA officials [chief operating officer Naasei Appiah, interim director of cricket Corrie van Zyl, and sales and sponsorship head Clive Eksteen]" the "immediate reappointment of the two board members who have resigned", the "immediate appointment of a lead independent director", and an "immediate independent audit and review".
That's a lot of immediacy, and some of it may indeed happen soon enough. CSA have scheduled a board meeting for Saturday, which is to be followed by a press conference. Not since Hansie Cronje and all that has a South African cricket gathering been so keenly anticipated. A drama of Macbethian proportions is sweeping across the stage. With a difference: there is no Banquo because there are no good guys.
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