Mthethwa warns Cricket SA: ‘I would be failing in my duty not to intervene’

Sport, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa has warned the Cricket SA members’ council not to push him towards a decision that could detrimentally impact the game.
Sport, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa has warned the Cricket SA members’ council not to push him towards a decision that could detrimentally impact the game.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Sports‚ arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa’s ultimatum to Cricket SA’s defiant members' council is crystal clear: either they revisit their decision to remove the interim board or face the full might of Section 13 of the National Sport and Recreation Act.

Mthethwa’s instruction letter comes after CSA’s members council refused to appoint the interim board‚ citing a breakdown of trust between the bodies. The nine-person interim board chaired by retired justice Zak Yacoob was appointed by Mthethwa on October 30‚ but in two weeks has reached a deadlock with the members' council to whom they report.

In the letter‚ Mthethwa warned the members’ council not to push him towards a decision that could detrimentally impact the game‚ and that his intervention would be justified.

“I implored him [Rihan Richards‚ acting president of the members' council] and the  council to revisit this decision immediately‚ and to afford the necessary recognition to the interim board‚ failing which I will exercise my powers under the Act and issue a directive in that regard‚” Mthethwa said.

“In the event he fails to comply with my directive‚ I will not hesitate to impose the sanctions available to me in terms of the Act.

“It is evident that the game of cricket is in a state of complete disarray and that my intervention in terms of the Act would not only be warranted‚ but would also be justified. I would be failing in my statutory and constitutional duty not to intervene in what is nothing other than the poor governance of a sport which is a national asset.”

Mthethwa said Richards’s tone was disappointing as the two entities haven’t worked together for a month before the breakdown in the relationship.

“I made it clear  I am dismayed and deeply disappointed at the tone of his reply. It defies logic that within a very short space of time‚ Mr Richards alleges a breakdown in the relationship between the interim board and the members’ council‚” Mthethwa said.

“It is most revealing that Mr Richards does not allege that the relationship has broken down irretrievably. I would therefore like to think that to the extent that there has been some or other breakdown‚ he relationship can be restored immediately in the best interests of the game of cricket and in the public interest.”


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