A special general meeting agreed at O.R. Tambo International Airport on Wednesday that the restructured board would comprise five independent directors and seven non-independent directors for a period of 18 months following the AGM on February 2, after which the board would be expanded to include seven independent directors and nine non-independent representatives from each of the national provinces.
“Initially, the seven non-independent directors will come from the ranks of the presidents of the affiliates, before following the due geo-political regions. Of course we are not entirely happy with this, our goal was to have a 5-5 split of directors, but as a member of Sascoc we have to fulfil their criteria and they are very clear about that,” acting president Willie Basson said after the meeting.
“Rugby and cricket will face huge practical problems implementing this, but the new board will continue to engage with Sascoc because we don’t want to set up conflict with them. But we will also try to ensure the board is not too unwieldy.”
Basson said even though non-independent administrators would be in the majority, contrary to the recommendations of the Nicholson Inquiry, the views and skills of independent voices would still be heard on the board.
“We are the only sports body in the country that has as significant a number of independent directors and that will definitely impact the way the board operates in the future. The independent directors will bring greater objectivity and their skills base to the board,” Basson said.
As proposed in the King III report on corporate governance, a lead independent director will be elected to act as a guide for the chairperson of the board. The president of CSA will act as the chairperson of the board.
“The president will have ultimate authority, without question, as recommended by King III and Sascoc is adamant about that as well. The independent, lead director is appointed in case there is conflict between the president and the board and it is a good governance principle,” Basson said.
Basson confirmed that he will continue to act as acting president until the AGM, despite suggestions the board may ask him to step down in the wake of allegations he was involved in Apartheid-era chemical warfare programs.
“I will carry on until the AGM having explained myself for the umpteenth time to the board and they accepted my explanation. It’s very simple: I had been involved for two years in the 1980s with the defensive side of chemical research and since just before 1994 in exactly the same area for the present government structures,” Basson said.