for quality writing

Ken Borland



CSA’s daily shambles & Moroe failure exposed by Fundudzi report 0

Posted on October 06, 2020 by Ken

Judging by the summary of the Fundudzi Forensic Report released by Cricket South Africa on Monday, it would seem dismissed CEO Thabang Moroe failed “to act with the degree of care, skill and diligence that may reasonably be expected” on an almost daily basis and the report exposes just how shambolic the running of the game had become under his watch and that of the Board.

The Fundudzi Report was commissioned, according to non-independent director John Mogodi in his presentation on Monday, to “investigate various governance issues, lapses in CSA controls and governance oversights” between January 2016 and December 2019. And it uncovered an extensive list of actions and inactions that justified disciplinary measures against Moroe.

But certain other staff members, most notably former chief operating officer Naasei Appiah, who was dismissed in mid-August, are also implicated in misgovernance and the Board itself is accused of dereliction of their fiduciary duties.

Moroe, however, is mentioned a dozen times: for contravening the CSA Code of Conduct when he revoked five journalists’ media accreditation, his failure to ensure the South African Cricketers’ Association were paid their image rights timeously which amounted to treating the players’ union with disdain and causing CSA to suffer reputational damage; several instances where he failed to follow procurement protocols and did not act in the best interests of CSA; misleading the Board when it came to exercising their step-in rights with the Western Province Cricket Association, and in failing to ensure due diligence was done in signing Global Sports Commerce for the Mzansi Super League; excessive credit card expenditure and the irregular appointment of a consultant who was not qualified for the post as head of human resources.

The fact that the CSA Board were so easily misled by Moroe and others will tickle those who have long stated that many of the directors are not fit for office.

Former independent director Mohamed Iqbal Khan and current acting president Beresford Williams were both accused of contravening the Companies Act due to a conflict of interest surrounding FinCom’s decision to make loans to the Western Province Cricket Association.

The Board also approved the agreement with GSC despite never being shown the due diligence report they had previously insisted on and GSC’s failure to provide a bank guarantee. Only 8% of the R169 million the Board has approved in loans to their affiliates for stadium upgrades has been paid back since May 2017, with several of the provincial presidents that benefit from the loans sitting on the CSA Board.

Fundudzi also found that CSA have had no effective internal audit unit for the last four years and the extension of Khan and Dawn Mokhobo’s terms as independent directors last year contravened their own Memorandum of Incorporation.

Mogodi said CSA’s lawyers, Bowmans Gilfillan, had recommended disciplinary processes against other employees of CSA and that although it was still early days in terms of those investigations, “we have already taken action on many findings and the Board are determined to act without fear or favour. We will not tolerate fraud, corruption or mismanagement”.

Fundudzi recommended criminal charges be laid in respect of the Service Provider X deal which saw Moroe and Appiah, without following the correct procurement processes, approve payment of nearly R3.5 million for services that have not been delivered.

Daily gym work has paid off for Fichardt 0

Posted on September 23, 2020 by Ken

So far Darren Fichardt’s daily gym work during Lockdown has paid off and now the 45-year-old order of merit leader is looking to sharpen up his short game as the Sunshine Tour’s Rise Up Series goes into its penultimate event, the Vodacom Championship Unlocked, at ERPM Golf Club in Boksburg from Wednesday.

Fichardt is on top of the order of merit after the first three tournaments thanks to his great consistency: after winning the Betway Championship at Killarney Country Club, the first tournament after Lockdown, he finished in a tie for sixth in the African Bank Championship at Glendower and then fourth in the Titleist Championship at Pretoria Country Club. That has given him earnings of R148 757.14, just over R2000 more than George Coetzee, who is not playing this week because he is campaigning – with great success – in Europe.

That leaves Danie van Tonder, on R120 650, as his chief challenger to win the Rise Up Series, but the likes of young Tristen Strydom and veterans Adilson da Silva, Ulrich van den Berg and Jaco Ahlers, all of whom have won more than R70 000, cannot be discounted either if they win in Boksburg.

“My golf has been pretty good so far, in the long Lockdown I was able to work on quite a few things I really wanted to, like getting fitter and stronger and that has paid off. Being on top of the order of merit, ahead of all the youngsters is exactly where you want to be, it’s always lekker. It’s also nice to have been able to play at home and sleep in my own bed for more than two weeks.

“It would mean a lot for me to win the order of merit, to win any of those is always awesome. To perform like I am, so consistently, is very satisfying. But I definitely need to sharpen up my putting and chipping, I’ve been working hard on that in this two-week break. I just feel I haven’t made enough putts and there have been soft bogeys when I have just missed the green but have not been able to get up-and-down,” Fichardt told The Citizen on Tuesday.

Although the 117-year-old ERPM Golf Club is one of South Africa’s top courses, Fichardt is yet to compete there as a professional, but he believes the eighth, ninth and 10th holes will be key to the outcome of the event. A water hazard makes for an intimidating tee-shot on the eighth and the 396-metre ninth features a long carry over the same large body of water for the approach shot, while the 10th is a short par-four of 342 yards and driveable as long as one is willing to take on the oak tree, as John Bland famously did in 1981 in scoring one of his remarkable 32 career holes-in-one.

“I’ve only played there as an amateur, never as a pro. It’s a pretty short course with really good greens. In the final round, those three holes around the turn could provide a big turnaround when you’re in the thick of things and in contention. But the fun of playing is back now for me and I’m really looking forward to teeing it up again,” Fichardt said.

Bosch & Sharks’ daily focus is on sharpening the basics 0

Posted on September 23, 2020 by Ken

The Sharks have been the form team in South African rugby this year but following six months of Lockdown their daily focus has just been on returning to basics and trying to get sharper every day, according to star flyhalf Curwin Bosch.

How quickly the Sharks can regain the brilliance and momentum that took them to the top of the Super Rugby standings will be put to the test on Saturday when they take on a revamped Bulls side on SuperFan Saturday at Loftus Versfeld. Bosch was also the form flyhalf in South Africa before Lockdown and, with Handre Pollard out of rugby for the rest of the year, there will be plenty of focus on his own form with the Springbok No.10 jersey in mind.

“It will be tough for all of us to get that momentum back and it’s all about starting back at the basics once again. Saturday is the perfect opportunity for us to sharpen up our game and try out a couple of things we have been working on. We’re not looking too far ahead, we’re just going to take it game-by-game and hopefully we will improve every week.

“It’s great to be back and these are exciting times, but our bodies are still adjusting to contact and it’s going to be different with no crowds. Our approach this week is a bit different because we are preparing for the SuperRugby/Currie Cup competition that is coming up. But why change what we have been doing when obviously we have been doing something right?” Bosch said in a virtual interview on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old with two Test caps says the Sharks’ game-plan will once again revolve around playing a high-tempo game. Being at the fulcrum of that can only help Bosch’s chances of Springbok selection and he is surely closing the gap between himself and Elton Jantjies, who has been the spearhead of the Lions’ energetic style of play for so many years.

“We want to play with speed and tempo, so it’s going to be an interesting clash with the Bulls, because if you look along the lines of who they have signed, we expect a very physical game from their massive pack. I think the Bulls are going to try and slow us down, have a lot of set-pieces, while we will try to speed things up. We’re not looking to change much, just fine-tune what we’ve been trying to do.

“Personally, I’ve had a different approach this year with my main focus being on the Sharks and trying to help the team succeed. If I do that then Springbok selection will take care of itself. But I do see a bit of an opportunity to play number 10. It’s always my dream to play for the Springboks, that’s why I decided to stay at the Sharks. It was easy because we have become a special team in the last year,” Bosch says.

Sascoc intervention a massive irony … but it may introduce top-class people 0

Posted on September 15, 2020 by Ken

There is a massive irony in a body such as Sascoc, wracked by internal strife and lacking credibility, making an intervention in the affairs of Cricket South Africa, a federation that seems to daily provide a new definition of rock-bottom.

But one can only hope this is a rocket (a spark would have little effect on the thick-skinned people sitting on the CSA Board) that leads to a real shift in the mindsets of those arrogant directors that refuse to budge a centimetre from a place at the top table of a sport they have parasitized rather than served.

If Sascoc threatening to take over does not force the CSA Board into standing down and releasing the Fundudzi Forensic Report, then the next option has to be for them to be threatened with being declared delinquent directors. There have been a litany of governance disasters at CSA over the last couple of years and there is no way they can continue to deny their own involvement and culpability.

There is no doubt people like former CEO Thabang Moroe and company secretary Welsh Gwaza have been involved in malfeasance, but who appointed and enabled these self-serving charlatans? The directors did and they have failed in their fiduciary duties, which have a clear legal basis.

The Members Council and the CSA Board of Directors are meeting together in Johannesburg over the weekend and, as one delegate put it, this is “make-or-break” time for the organisation. Will selfish, individualistic priorities prevail and continue the death spiral into chaos and oblivion? Or will there finally be some leadership and accountability shown?

Either way, Sascoc are going to impose a task team inquiring into CSA’s affairs, which is no bad thing. But if leadership and accountability win the day then there are enough top-class people who love cricket who will be able to step into the leadership vacuum and help CSA back to stability.

One of those is Judith February, a lawyer based at the Institute for Security Studies, the former head of IDASA’s governance programme, a Visiting Fellow at the Wits School of Governance, a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and a massive cricket fan.

“You cannot be on a board and not take responsibility, resigning just before the AGM is too little, too late because they have presided over matters to that point. Directors have left in silence or written letters, but it was because they did not flex their muscles that Thabang Moroe was allowed to operate in that way. CSA’s Memorandum of Incorporation is very clear and they have breached it on every front.

“We can join the dots intelligently and see that there is something deeply wrong with the system and the people who manage it and the people who oversee them. A clean break is the best option and clearly we need to interrogate why someone of such integrity and capability as Jacques Faul could find no space to work in CSA. The players’ statement about the boardroom shenanigans was also really important,” February said this week in a Daily Maverick webinar discussing cricket in South Africa’s fight for survival.

Does February, a governance specialist and former executive director of the HSRC’s Democracy and Governance unit, not just sound like the perfect candidate to be an independent director on a new-look CSA Board?

There are also some brilliant, impressive people on the Members Council – one thinks of Ben Dladla, Craig Nel, Anne Vilas and Tebogo Siko – who are dong their best to restore the credibility of CSA, but their efforts are being stymied by the presence of seven directors of the Board in the 14-strong Members Council itself.

The Nicholson Inquiry, which the CSA Board have now committed to return to eight years after its release, called for change in how the Board was constituted, recommending nine of the 12 directors be independents.

But in 2013 it was the selfsame Sascoc who refused to accept that and pressured CSA (although it probably suited their Board back then too) into going with a 7-5 split in favour of non-independents. And that’s a major reason why CSA are in the mess they are in now.

Directors without the competence, skills or experience to run a billion-and business have been voted in to ensure certain powerful figures enjoy support and can dispense patronage in return. In some cases, these directors have been earning twice as much from Board fees as from their ‘main’ source of income; no wonder they are desperate to keep their noses in the CSA trough.

In the coming weeks, Sascoc have a vital role to play in supporting the efforts of those who want to change this system and put cricket back in the control of people who firstly love and serve the game, and secondly have the expertise to run it properly.

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Thought of the Day

    Philemon 1:7 – “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

    “Every disciple of Jesus has a capacity for love. The most effective way to serve the Master is to share his love with others. Love can comfort, save the lost, and offer hope to those who need it. It can break down barriers, build bridges, establish relationships and heal wounds.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech

    If there’s a frustrating vacuum in your spiritual life and you fervently desire to serve the Lord but don’t know how you’re meant to do that, then start by loving others in his name.

     



↑ Top