Cricket South Africa forensic report delay

Sports, Arts and Culture

06 October 2020
Chairperson: Ms B Dlulane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee was not pleased with the conduct of Cricket South Africa (CSA) and how it had not submitted its forensic report after requesting extensions from the Committee for more than five months, although it had submitted the report to the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture. The Committee raised concern why those implicated in the report are still on the CSA board and told CSA to submit the report before close of business on Friday 9 October. The Committee did not allow CSA to make its presentation during the virtual meeting. This should happen only after CSA had submitted the forensic report, as it was undermining the Committee. It was agreed that the legal teams of Parliament and CSA iron out the legal concerns that may arise. CSA and the Committee would meet again on 13 October.
 

Meeting report

Cricket South Africa forensic report delay: discussion
The Chairperson recalled the previous meetings between the Committee and CSA and the disappointments raised by committee members due to CSA's delay in submitting the 500-page forensic report to the Committee. She raised her concerns about CSA conduct because it had released a summary of the report to the media before submitting the report summary to the Committee. This was disrespectful and was a form of undermining the Committee. The CSA leadership was not acting in good faith because it did not meet its commitment to the Committee to provide the report. It is not acceptable that it took CSA five months of making excuses - only for it to release the report to the media. She asked for contributions from committee members on their thoughts.

Mr T Mhlongo (DA) echoed the sentiments of the Chairperson and asked if CSA was undermining the Committee by not submitting the forensic report. The previous minutes stated that CSA was to provide a detailed forensic report. He asked why CSA had sent only a report summary to the Chairperson only the night before this meeting.

Mr C Sibisi (NFP) seconded the concerns raised by the Chairperson and Mr Mhlongo on the release of the forensic report. Its actions were proof that it is undermining the Committee because it was supposed to submit the 500 page report to the Committee and it must answer what motivated its actions.

Mr M Seabi (ANC) agreed. He was patiently waiting to hear from CSA on why it had acted in such a manner. It had intentionally undermined the Committee by its actions. He also raised a concern about people who had joined the meeting using some numbers which were not known and asked for clarity on who these people were.

The Chairperson asked those with the numbers to identify themselves to the Committee.

Mr W Faber (DA) said that he would not get into too much detail in the report but he was concerned about why it was not submitted to the Committee. He was wondering if some people were being protected and it was concerning why the report submission took so long. CSA had promised to submit the report and it had to come clean on the delay.

Mr B Mamabolo (ANC) asked if CSA had sent its presentation to the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) before coming to the meeting.

Mr L Ntshayisa (ANC) supported the anger of members because the Committee has an oversight mandate mandate and CSA has a lot of issues that it needs to deal with at the moment.

Mr B Madlingozi (EFF) said that CSA is arrogant and disrespected the Committee. They also showed some racist attitude and they had to come clean to the rest of South Africa why the report is not yet released.

The Chairperson reiterated her anger towards CSA. She had respected CSA's wishes and given it time and at the same time begged the Committee to give it a chance but it did not yield the desired results because CSA did not fulfill its mandate.

Mr Beresford Williams, CSA Acting President, thanked the Committee for inviting them to the meeting during these difficult times. He wanted to place it on record that they were grateful to the Committee in allowing the time extension for the report. It was not out of disrespect or arrogance or undermining the Committee that the report had been released to the media and he humbly apologised for such actions. CSA was at the meeting to make a presentation. He asked that the Committee afford them an opportunity to speak on the issues which were critical and had been raised previously then after this they would deal with the concerns raised in this meeting by Members. Mr Williams said that there was a misconception and a narrative that was not well understood around the report but they would like to make a presentation.

Mr Mhlongo said that Members accepted the apology by the Acting President but that did not give CSA an excuse for not submitting the report to the Committee. Mr Williams was misleading the Committee because in the previous meetings CSA had agreed to submit the report. There is a need for justification from CSA.

The Chairperson echoed Mr Mhlongo and said there is a need to hear what CSA has to say about there being no report for which the Committee had waited a long time.

Mr Seabi said that he was not changing his stance as the previous minutes show that CSA had agreed to submit the forensic report. The Committee did not need a summary of the report because it does not disclose the relevant information to the Committee and everything must be transparent. There was no point of having the report summary if the forensic report was not made available. He asked why CSA was not willing to submit the report.

Mr Williams asked Mr Schoeman to answer the questions asked by Members on the forensic report.

Mr Marius Schoeman, CSA Independent Director and chair of the board's audit and risk committee, said that he would explain and give a roadmap to the Committee. The investigations were done by an independent company by the name Fundudzi. One of the critical matters presented to the board was that they had to conduct themselves in line with the Companies Act so as to have transparency. Due diligence has to be followed. The documents have a watermark and nothing can be copied. External lawyers had also received the document and he gave the assurance that CSA does not have anything to hide at the moment but there is work to be done before the Annual General Meeting. He asked for a chance to make the presentation which highlights what is to be done at the AGM. A lot of hours were spent in debating whether the report should be made public or not but there is a responsibility to be taken into consideration especially due to the Companies Act. The non-disclosure is also a matter to be considered and it is important. There are legal reasons to be considered before the report can be made public and a balance was struck by the board that certain things had to be excluded. The Members' Council is the highest board in CSA and it is independent. The Companies Act brings in a lot of complexities when dealing with boards. Mr Schoeman said that he is always in constant discussions with the other directors on how to deal with the issues at CSA.

Mr Madlingozi said what Mr Schoeman was saying is that he is not going to respond to the Committee questions and he is schooling them on the Companies Act.

Mr Mhlongo asked where the detailed forensic report was. If the Minister had the report, why was it not submitted to the Committee? There is no open governance he was talking about. He was just using big words and did not answer any questions raised by the Committee.

Mr Seabi said that the fact that the Minister had received the report means that it is no longer internal. He concluded that some of the board members are implicated in the report. When it is finally submitted to the Committee, the report would be doctored by then and it will not show the original findings. There was no need to continue with the meeting if the report was not available.

Mr Sibisi said that there was no need to continue with the meeting in the absence of the 500 page report because the Committee had waited for five months.

Ms R Adams (ANC) agreed and said the road map by Mr Schoeman was not helpful at this stage because he did not answer why CSA was withholding the report.

Ms V Van Dyk (DA) said that she wanted to know if there would be legal consequences and who would be liable if the report was to be presented to the Committee.

Mr Faber said that CSA falls under SASCOC and he asked why the report was not submitted to SASCOC and if it was because they were hiding something. SASCOC also needs to have a look at the report because he was of the view that people on the CSA board are implicated in the report. That is why the report is being withheld.

Mr Mhlongo asked Mr Schoeman to explain what good governance entails as the CSA conduct was not anywhere close to what good governance entails. It can be noted that CSA is undermining the Committee and something is fishy. He also wanted to know who paid for the report. A hard copy should be sent to the Committee. There is no reason to continue with the meeting in the absence of the report.

The Chairperson asked the Director General if the Minister had received the report.

Mr Vusumuzi Mkhize, Department Director General, replied that the report was presented to the Minister directly to minimise the leaking of information.

The Chairperson said that the Committee is in a position to get the report from the Minister because Committee does oversight. There was no need to talk about the media and SASCOC here. SASCOC must also get the information but it is not clear who will assist SASCOC due to the differences between it and CSA. The report will help in paving the way forward for cricket in the country. The CSA leadership has to think deeply about how they are handling matters at the moment.

The Chairperson asked for a way forward from committee members and the CSA leadership. Government should not be blamed for the Companies Act. There are procedures to be followed if there is a need to amend that legislation.

Mr Seabi said that he was in support of not continuing with the meeting but he wanted to get a response from CSA on when it would submit the report to the Committee so another meeting can be scheduled.

The Chairperson asked CSA to commit to submitting the report to the Committee because it has been waiting for more than five months.

Mr Schoeman replied that he would ensure that he responded to all questions. He apologised if he was seen as arrogant and playing with words when addressing the Committee. There are legal consequences if the report was made public and this was one of the reasons why it has taken so long. However, there are ways in which a solution can be worked around so that the report can be released. SASCOC was provided an opportunity to read the report at Bowmans offices after signing a non disclosure agreement but it did not agree to the conditions.

Mr Schoeman said that there is no tampering or interference with the investigation and Fundudzi can attest to this. There are controls which have been put in place to ensure that actions which need to be taken will be taken immediately. The report implicated two directors and the names are known and public. Good governance comprises many things and one of the things that should be taken into consideration is confidentiality and it should be abided by. CSA will commit within a week to ensure that the findings will be released to the public but there are consequences to be considered. A reveal of governance was tabled to the Members' Council. CSA paid for the report.

Mr Schoeman said that he was not hiding behind the Companies Act. CSA has a role to play in the way in which the protocols are to be followed.

The Chairperson gave the floor to Mr Skosana from SASCOC.

SASCOC President, Mr Aleck Skhosana, said that what was said by CSA was concerning. SASCOC has been saying the same during its meetings. He had only learnt that there were two more directors implicated in the report in this Committee meeting. SASCOC was not in a position to sign a non-disclosure agreement because once they read the report they could not do anything with it so there was no need to go to Bowmans offices.

Mr Mhlongo remarked that it seemed as if Mr Schoeman was starting to cooperate. What protocols were there for the report to be released to the Committee? He asked if the same procedure was followed when the Minister was given the report.

Mr Madlingozi asked why there was a need to check the report before submitting it to the Committee. CSA has to send the report as soon as possible.

Mr Seabi said that he was not comfortable with the response by Mr Schoeman. He suggested that CSA submit the report to the Committee before Friday so they can schedule a meeting with CSA. A way forward can only be developed if the report is in the Committee's hands and everyone in the Committee is responsible.
 
Mr Faber agreed with having time frames given to CSA. If it were concern for the legal consequences then Parliament's legal department should be involved to have a way forward and not continue wasting time.

SASCOC Board member, Mr Khaya Majeke, thanked the Committee for the meeting invitation. SASCOC supports the call made by the Committee demanding the CSA report. SASCOC had received an invite to engage with the CSA report but the terms and conditions were not favourable. He hoped that the same would not be applied to the Committee when the report is submitted. SASCOC might be having their own challenges but CSA must stop engaging certain individuals instead of the collective board because SASCOC has its own mandate to serve.

Mr Mhlongo asked why the CSA board had not resigned after it was shown that some of them have been implicated in the report – for instance the Acting CSA President who was even present at the meeting.

Ms Cecilia Molokwane, Netball SA President, said that there have been attempts to work with CSA but they do not cooperate and they choose to do things in their own way so as to protect their egos. A full detailed report must be released. It is shocking that the Minister has received the report which shows that CSA does not follow protocol.

Mr Dheven Dharmalingam, CSA Independent Director, said that he joined CSA this year in May and he wanted to raise two matters with the Committee. He understood the frustration of the Committee. He said that the first draft was received on 31 July this year and it is a complex report. As an independent director, he has no allegiance to any director or the board as that is the mandate. There is a risk to the business to the extent that the report is made public. There is a need for awareness of CSA staff before making the report public. He is also committed to making the report public. He reiterated the importance of handling the report in a confidential manner to avoid hurting those mentioned in the report. Should there be any risk to CSA, directors need to be protected if the report is made public. That is what they have been trying to achieve from the CSA board. They will work to ensure that the report is released directly from Fundudzi and not from CSA. There should be a legal cooperation between Bowmans and Parliament's legal team so as to have a common ground. They were committed to working with the Committee and it is their wish to see players playing because the organisation relies on selling content. The longer it takes to release the report, it will also affect the players soon.

Dr Eugenia Kula, CSA Independent Director, supported the points raised by Mr Dharmalingam. The report was compiled by an independent company which means that nothing can be doctored or changed. Should there be any changes, there is a regulator who will take care of such matters. She made a request to the Committee that protocol be followed before CSA comes back to the Committee and SASCOC. She also asked that the Committee allows CSA to go back to SASCOC so that issues can be ironed out.

The Chairperson was concerned about giving more time to CSA. She was of the view that CSA does not know what it wants and might be wasting time because, in the first instance, CSA was supposed to submit the report to SASCOC. Hence asking for more time is not a good sign because CSA did not submit the report to SASCOC. The Committee does oversight and it cannot be delayed because CSA did not want to comply in the first place. This will affect the work of the Committee if it is allowed.

Mr Faber dismissed the idea of giving more time to CSA but it would be appreciated if the legal teams could meet to iron out the issues that may arise.

Mr Mhlongo said that CSA was using tactics to delay the release of the report and such nonsense should be stopped with immediate effect. He proposed that the report be submitted to the Committee on Thursday 8 October. He was also concerned that those implicated in the report were part of the meeting which meant there was no good governance at all.

Mr Madlingozi was of the view that the report should be released during the meeting because CSA had released it to the meeting. If CSA was not respecting the Committee, it was supposed to say so. There were white players showing racist actions. The report must be released so the Committee can deal with it.

Mr Seabi mentioned that there is a leadership problem at CSA because Standard Bank had withdrawn its sponsorship and Momentum had also given notice to withdraw. These are signs that the leadership had failed to lead. Whenever there is an intervention to solve challenges at CSA, the leadership refuses to be assisted. He was in support of getting the report before Friday so that the Committee could study it and decide on what steps to be taken by the Committee.

The Chairperson added that there is no way that CSA could ask for an extension after five months. Friday 9 October will be the due date for CSA to submit the report and a meeting would be scheduled for the coming week. It would be up to the Committee to figure out the programme so as to accommodate SASCOC. Sport is a fundamental aspect in South Africa and transformation should be carried out to include those at the grassroots, especially women. The Committee is there to ensure that the job is done and not treat CSA with kid gloves Those who want to play sports should be supported. The Committee will deliberate on the way forward for setting up a meeting.

Mr Madlingozi wanted the report to be released whilst the meeting was taking place because CSA were arrogant and rude. Nothing was going to change if the report were to be released on Friday

The Chairperson said that CSA should be allowed an opportunity to respond. The manner in which Mr Madlingozi was conducting himself was not helping the situation. Different proposals had been raised by Members and those had to be taken into consideration as a collective decision.

The Chairperson asked for Mr Madlingozi’s microphone to be muted. She told Mr Madlingozi to wait for her to finish speaking because she was not giving the final word as it was up to the Members to agree on the way forward. Mr Madlingozi must be patient and wait for her to finish. He would be given time to give input. His behaviour was very strange and unacceptable.

Mr Seabi said that taking into consideration the time taken waiting for CSA to submit the report, CSA must not be treated with kid gloves. The latest time for submitting the report should be Friday by close of business.

Mr Mhlongo seconded the proposal. He asked if the report will be a soft or hard copy. He also wanted Mr Schoeman to clarify the protocol.

Mr Schoeman replied that the proposal to have both legal teams meet is most appropriate and the protocol is that the Members' Council should be consulted. He said that if the report is not submitted by Friday at 16:30pm he would resign from his position. On board members still holding their position, this is because they were appointed through a rigorous process and to leave CSA at the stage would be detrimental. The current board is accountable for what they have done. He also expressed his gratitude to the women on the CSA board because it is important to have diversity.

Mr Williams said that on behalf of CSA, he would like to commit that the report will be delivered and they will ensure that everything goes according to plan.

The Chairperson thanked the CSA team and asked them to leave the meeting as their part was done.

Committee Programme
Mr Mhlongo proposed that the Committee have a meeting with CSA the following week and move SASCOC’s presentation to 23rd. CSA will attend the meeting on 13 October.

The proposal was approved by the Committee.

The Chairperson emphasised the importance of ensuring that everyone is present at meeting so there is consensus when decisions are taken.

Committee Reports
The Chairperson asked for the reports to be shown on the screen so the Committee could deliberate.

The Committee considered and adopted the Committee Reports on Department Q2, Q3 and Q4 performance for 2019/20.

The Chairperson thanking Members on how they conduct themselves during meetings and how they were working together to serve the country.

Meeting adjourned.
 

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