The Northerns Cricket Union (NCU) Board and NCU Members Council met on the 20th of April 2021 to discuss the current impasse between Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) Members Council and the Interim Board after a Special General Meeting (SGM) was held on Saturday the 17th of April 2021.
After deliberation, our Board and Members Council mandated the following press release reflecting our stance.
Majority Independent Board/ Independent Chairperson
Our mandate makes provision for a majority Independent Board and Independent Chairperson. We made strong recommendations that the chairperson must be someone with the skill and experience to lead CSA. Further to this, at least one Independent Director must have played International Cricket and, at least two members must have served in sports structures.
Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI)
We have sought input from both an expert in International Sports Law and a vastly experienced governance expert. We have raised our concerns on several clauses. We do, however, note that some of these clauses have been amended. It was not possible to work through the entire MOI before the SGM due to the tight timeline. Our disagreement on some clauses should not interpret as a lack of support for a majority Independent Board or Independent Chairperson.
There seems to be uncertainty around the clauses related to the nominations committee. Our biggest concern remains around schedule 3 and Clause 19.1. The Clauses may contradict each other. We are comfortable if the Directors are appointed as per 19.1. We would appreciate more clarity on this. We would support a more inclusive process in the appointment of the Independent Nominations Committee. We are further concerned that the Interim Board is too powerful in this process.
The Northerns Members Council further suggest that, if needed, a workshop should be held to understand the various clauses. It could be a matter of parties not interpreting the clauses correctly. We understand that all clauses cannot be renegotiated at this stage. However, we feel that the nomination process should be a priority. Northerns has in the past raised concerns on the appointment of directors.
We wish to make it clear that, minor disagreements on the MOI should not prevent the parties from agreeing to the new MOI. Our matters in principle mostly related to the Independent nominations committee and criteria related to the skills and experience of directors.
It is worth noting that the Nicholson recommendation was not implemented in 2012/2013 because The Minister, SASCOC and CSA had initially agreed to implement a majority Independent Board with an Independent Chairperson. This was blocked by SASCOC and resulted in CSA postponing their AGM and restructuring the Board back to a majority Non-Independent Board Members and a Non-Independent Chairperson.
We feel that the SASCOC matter has not been resolved and is of concern, as SASCOC can suspend CSA.
Again, we must note that we do not raise this matter to be obstructive or withhold support for change, but we have received legal advice if the SASCOC matter is not addressed.
National Convention/ Indaba
We fear that the parties in the impasse have reached a point where we question whether they can negotiate in good faith.
We suggest holding an urgent National Convention by an Independent Facilitator.
Attending this convention must be SACA/ Sponsors/ Interim Board/ Members Council/ SASCOC/ Ministry.
Lastly, we hope that this matter will be resolved quickly so that cricket is unified again.