The Committee met with the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC), the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), and Cricket South Africa (CSA) in a virtual meeting to discuss the decision by the Minister to exercise his powers in terms of section 13 of the National Sport and Recreation Act 110 of 1998, the agreement reached over amendments in the Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI), and the way forward.
Members initially argued over the adoption of the agenda. Concerns were raised about the differences in the agenda the Committee had received and the agenda that was shared at the meeting. After a vote, the agenda was duly adopted.
Members raised concern that the entities had not provided any presentation or documents that would be discussed in the meeting as per procedure, and on the lateness of a document that was sent eight minutes before the meeting commenced.
The Minister briefed the Committee on the issues of misgovernance and lack of leadership at CSA, and the events that had led to the historic agreement on the amendments to the MOI. He said he would brief the public, together with CSA, on this in an announcement later that day.
SASCOC said it was happy the Minister had withdrawn the gazette banning Cricket South Africa, as this was not in the interest of the sport. It reported that at its last annual general meeting, it had transformed itself in a major way, as it now had more women serving on its board than men, and its black representation was sound. It was committed to transforming itself and its members, but the programme of transformation at this stage was housed within the Department of Sport in the Eminent Persons' Group programme.
It appreciated the role of government in formulating the Constitution of the country which guided SASCOC, but if the sports body did not follow its own constitution, it would have implications on the country's participation in events such as the Olympics an Paralympics. After it received the amended MOI, it would review it and, through its Members’ Council, would make recommendations to CSA on the matter. It had put together a task team to review the MOI and to make recommendations to the Council meeting of SASCOC, which would take place on 8 May.
CSA reported one area it was battling with since inception was the implementation of the Nicholson Report. It had had to look at all the other international and domestic best practice governance requirements such as King III and IV Reports, other best practice requirements and the amended Companies Act, to restore governance as mandated by the Minister. It was under considerable pressure, mainly because it had to do what was right for the game.
It emphasised that cricket was not just about a sporting code or discipline, as it had an educational and economic aspect to it, and was critical for the international positioning of the country. CSA recognised the matter was not about 200 000 cricketers, but about 60 million South Africans.
CSA thanked the Minister and his team for their high-level leadership, and clarified that the Department had not interfered in any of the processes or the details. It had been a high-level intervention rather than interference, and the intervention needed to be commended because it had managed to save what had been a very precarious position. It said that by 12 June, CSA would be well on its way to restoration, as it would have a new MOI that each and every South African could be proud of, and it would have a new independent board with an independent chairperson.
The Committee welcomed the Minister’s decision, as it was fully in support of transformation. It questioned why CSA had taken so long to concur with the MOI, but commended it for making a progressive decision. It referred to the disputes within the sporting bodies and the divergent views reported in the media and by the entities themselves. It raised concern on the effect of the disputes on the sporting bodies and the players’ abilities to perform.
Members said the citizens of South Africa supported the transformational agenda, which was long overdue. The Minister said transformation would affect the entire sport and all sectors. He recognised some people wanted to protect the status quo, and for those facing covert racism to continue to suffer. He emphasised that anything that was against transformation would not be tolerated.
Adoption of the agenda
The Chairperson tabled the agenda and requested Members to adopt it.
Mr M Zondi (ANC) proposed its adoption, and Mr B Mamabolo (ANC) seconded.
Mr T Mhlongo (DA) said he was concerned, as the agenda the Committee received and the one presented on screen was different, and he did not understand why. The agenda and briefing item was fine, but item number two, which indicated “the decision by the Minister to exercise,” was not included on this agenda.
The Chairperson said she understood Mr Mhlongo’s query, but asked him if he had an issue with the adoption of the agenda presented on screen..
Mr Mhlongo said the Chairperson had given the Members an amended agenda today, and they had not even received a presentation. He was concerned, as the Chairperson could not dictate terms for Members -- they had an agenda which was now amended without any presentation. He said the Committee could not be run like "a spaza shop." He questioned why his agenda, and the item that “the decision by the Minister to exercise his powers in terms of section 13 of the National Sport and Recreation Act 110 of 1998,” was not there. This was the item the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa, had to account to. The item, “the agreement reached over the amendment of the MOI,” was also not included as agreed. He recalled the procedure, that Members of Portfolio Committees should receive the agenda items and the presentations, 72 hours in advance. The Chairperson had just changed this today and he was concerned. He clarified this was not that he did not respect the Chairperson, but it was a procedural process.
Mr M Seabi (ANC) added his voice to those who supported the adoption of the agenda. Item four stipulated the “briefing on the decision by the Minister to exercise his powers in terms of section 13.” In terms of the briefing, the structures would brief the Committee, and would cover the issues of the agreement reached over amendments in the MOI. He said this was in item four which the stakeholders would brief the Committee on, and it could then take it from there.
Mr Zondi said that was what he intended to explain. He noted Mr Mhlongo’s concern, and clarified that item four spoke to the same issue Mr Mhlongo had raised. Members called for the adoption because item four covered what Mr Mhlongo had raised, irrespective of what the previous agenda outlined. The Committee would be briefed on the Minister’s decision, in terms of section 13, and this decision was what it wanted to know about. If item four covered this point, then he was happy with the agenda.
Ms V van Dyk (DA) said her only concern was that this morning, eight minutes before the meeting, some documentation had been presented to the Committee. She asked whether this was the only documentation the Committee was supposed to receive, or was there anything else outstanding that it was supposed to receive that it had not received? It was a matter of concern that the Committee had received the communication late.
The Chairperson asked Ms Van Dyk to speak to that issue when the Committee commenced the discussion, as it was still adopting the agenda. Those who had been supposed to forward the documents would respond to Ms Van Dyk’s question.
Mr Mhlongo requested that his dissent and concern that Members had not received the agenda agreed upon, be minuted. It should be noted that no presentation had been received, except one that arrived eight minutes before the meeting. His dissent should be noted, but he would participate in the meeting.
Chairperson's opening remarks
The Chairperson welcomed Members, the Ministry, the Delegation of Cricket South Africa (CSA) led by the Interim Board (IB) Chair, the South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), the Members’ Council, senior management of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC), and Parliamentary officials.
She said the Committee had invited CSA and SASCOC to the meeting to do a follow-up on the resolutions reached in the meeting that took place on 6 and 13 October 2020. During this meeting, the forensic report was discussed, and it was found that some members of the organisation were implicated in the report.
Secondly, the report had a recommendation that needed to be implemented. The Committee would therefore like to find out about the progress to date on the implementation process.
Thirdly, had the IB been able to perform on its mandate at CSA without fear or favour, and had there been any progress since it took over?
SASCOC was also mandated to mediate and offer support to CSA. What had been its role throughout this entire process to date?
From the recent developments that had unfolded in the media, where the Minister had to intervene at CSA, the Chairperson realised the challenges were not fully resolved. Therefore, it was important for CSA, SASCOC, and the Department to update the Committee on the progress to date on the challenges facing the organisation.
She emphasised that transformation, grassroots development and the accessibility of cricket among all citizens, irrespective of socio-economic status, remained an important priority within sport.
The Committee was looking forward to a fruitful engagement with all structures, and it hoped to note all concerns raised to create a progressive way forward.
The secretariat noted an apology from Deputy Minister Ms Nocawe Mafu, who was attending to a longstanding commitment in the Eastern Cape, as well as from Ms R Adams (ANC) who had a bereavement.
On behalf of SASCOC, Board members Mr Anant Singh and Dr Debbie Alexander had sent apologies.
The Chairperson welcomed Mr Vusumuzi Mkhize, Director-General (DG), DSAC, and said the Committee appreciated that he could join the meeting after a long illness, in addition to the loss of his father.
Mr Mkhize thanked the Chairperson for her kind words. He said the Minister would join the meeting, as he was busy with an assignment that had overrun -- the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), on the issue of Mama Mannya-Maxeke.
He said Dr Stavros Nicolaou, Chairperson of the IB, had a meeting with the Minister of Health and was likely to join the meeting soon. Dr Nicolaou had indicated the meeting might overrun by a few minutes, but he committed to be part of the meeting soon thereafter.
The Chairperson said the meeting would start with a briefing by the Department, followed by SASCOC and CSA.
She had called the secretary a few days ago to inform her that the Committee had not received any documents or presentations, and to find out what was happening. She had not sat back on this issue, as she had questioned the secretary, who had not received any documents either. She questioned why the entities presenting today had not provided it with the written information.
Mr Mhlongo said he wondered whether, and at what time, the Minister would join the meeting, as the first item would be by him. He would comment if the Minister was present but if not, it seemed as if he was undermining the Committee, as notification of the meeting was sent to his office a long time ago. The Minister had to present on the first item, irrespective of the fact that the Committee had not received a presentation. The Minister must provide a brief overview and the Committee would engage on it. He proposed that Members should deliberate on each item, as they were interlinked.
The Chairperson informed Members of the proposal on the table.
Mr Seabi said the agenda had been adopted, which stipulated that the Committee would receive the three presentations and it would deliberate thereafter. He requested that the agenda as adopted be followed.
The Chairperson noted the two counter views. She said the agenda was adopted, and asked whether it could be followed.
Mr Mhlongo agreed to follow the agenda. He asked whether the Minister would present the "unpresented" presentation to the Committee within 72 hours. He requested that the Committee receive a verbal overview from the Minister. He commented that the accountable officer to the Minister was the DG, but the accountable person to the Committee was the Minister so the Minister should start, not the DG.
He accepted that Members had adopted the agenda, but his dissent should be noted.
The Chairperson noted Mr Mhlongo’s concern.
Mr Seabi said he did not know what Members wanted, as an apology had been presented. The Minister was a member of the Executive Committee under the leadership of the President. He acknowledged that the Minister accounted to the Committee, but an apology was presented and there had been no objection to that apology. He asked how the Minister could present when he was not in the meeting.
The secretariat announced the Minister had joined the meeting.
The Chairperson said in future, when there was an apology, it was something that must be followed up and discussed -- whether Members accepted the apology -- and then move on. Apologies had been presented and the Minister’s apology was clear -- he was part of the GCIS, which was part of the government of South Africa where he was deployed.
Mr Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Sport, Art and Culture, greeted the Members, and apologised as his meeting had taken longer than expected.
He said his briefing was a short story on a troubled and messed up CSA. When the Department started dealing with CSA, it had emphasised it should be able to deal with the problems as CSA. The problems which related to misgovernance and lack of leadership at CSA created a situation where it was in such a mess that it was a shade of its former self, from being respected the world over to what it was now, which was basically nothing in terms of any serious cricketing country was concerned.
After failing to convince it to clean up its mess, which it had created in the first place, the Department had decided to follow the law, the National Sports and Recreation Act of 1998 as amended, and had then charged SASCOC, as the confederation, to deal with the mess. After a short space of time, SASCOC had come back to the Minister and handed the matter over to him to deal with it. This was what it had been trying to do, but there had been obstructions all the way from the Members’ Council. Because he was dealing with the matter, he had appointed the IB which was supposed to start to work after its appointment in October 2020, but it had been unable to do so because the Members’ Council did not want to ratify that. It ratified it only in November 2020, and the process had fluctuated and promised to move since then.
The direction was clear, which was to implement the Nicholson Report and to transform the organisation, the sport, and the sporting code. Based on the modern way of doing things, as supported by the King IV report on corporate governance in South Africa, there had to be a majority of the independent members of this board. Until the special general meeting (SGM), where it was supposed to adopt the changes, the Department had made it very clear since the beginning that it would not negotiate, as it did not negotiate transformation. The line was that it had to be implemented.
When it got to the SGM, after having agreed that it would adopt it, it had rejected it. Since the Department had pleaded with CSA since 2012 after the report, and had been patient with it throughout this process, which the Minister had been presiding over with the powers legally vested in him, he had had no option but to invoke the Act. He had made this clear from the beginning, so that no one would be confused. The Department had invoked the Act, and had started hearing some members from other quarters after it had done so, but the proverbial horse had already bolted -- the Department did not say things which it did not do. SASCOC had then emerged and had been supported by some in society. That was causing confusion, because the Act was clear as to who should do what. The situation had now reached this stage.
Mr Mthethwa said he had received a letter yesterday that SASCOC had agreed to transform. He had responded that this was good news, but there had been no commitment that this had happened until the government gazette went through. After he received the letter, he had reconsidered his position. He would be making a public statement, together with CSA.
This was the story, and this was how far it had come. If the signs that were painted here were true, then cricket had won, transformation had won, and backwardness had been defeated.
Mr Barry Hendricks, President of SASCOC, said SASCOC’s position was very clear on the matter as well. It was happy the Minister had withdrawn the gazette, as this was not in the interest of sport. SASCOC had got involved in the process right at the outset, when the issues involving cricket had surfaced in the media. At that stage, the main issue had been around the Fundudzi Report. SASCOC tried to engage with its member, CSA, but had run into a stonewall, and it appeared as if matter would have needed to go to court. At that stage, it could not afford to follow that process. SASCOC had then asked the Minister to get involved in the process, which he duly did.
It then went through a process, as the Minister stated, where the CSA discussed amongst themselves one of the issues of transformation, which was its MOI, amongst other governance matters as well. On being notified that the Members’ Council was about to adopt the MOI, SASCOC had corrected the situated by informing its members of the SASCOC clause 9.2, which stated that any member's constitution needed to be reviewed and sanctioned by SASCOC. It had asked for that process to happen and at that stage, the MOI was not sent to SASCOC. It called to have a meeting with the Minister to discuss this matter on the way forward, and he had indicated he would meet with it at his leisure, but it had been unable to set up this meeting with the Minister as yet. SASCOC’s position at this stage, having now received the MOI, was that it would review it and, through its Members’ Council, make recommendations to CSA on the matter.
This was where SASCOC was currently at. It had put together a task team to review the MOI and to make recommendations to the Council meeting of SASCOC, the general assembly, which would take place on 8 May 2021.
Acting President's overview
Mr Rihan Richards, Acting President of CSA, said he would make a few brief statements as he was unsure whether Dr Nicalaou had joined the meeting yet. Unfortunately, he had not been informed that CSA had to do a presentation.
He said it was important to reflect on how CSA had arrived at the situation it was currently facing. It had to concede that the intervention that happened was by mutual consent, and extended back to an interaction between the Minister and the Members’ Council. Members must be mindful that all the matters that were being tabled, including the Fundudzi Report, had been commissioned by the Members’ Council to get CSA back to its rightful place not only within national sport, but as an international sport as well. He commented that a lot of things had happened.
The question that had been raised was whether or not the actions of the Members’ Council should be viewed, and how they should be viewed. He agreed the Minister had been absolutely correct that agreement had been reached, but the fact was that the IB should be able to act within the framework, and in CSA’s view, that was in line with the MOI as well as the Companies Act. He said the IB could not operate outside of those guidelines, which was the first matter that had led to a dispute between the IB and CSA.
It was mindful of the position of the Nicholson Report, and it had clearly stated it was well aware of it. It should also be noted that the current governance structure was a consequence of an agreement between SASCOC and the then Minister of Sport, and that was how it had been undertaken. It was open to transformation, and to moving forward.
One of the issues was how it arrived at the SGM. There had been allusions in the press, and from all quarters, that there had been consensus. It had been reported that nine of the 14 affiliates had indicated their willingness to accept and review a more independent board, and seven of the 14 had indicated their willingness to have an independent chairperson. A lot of focus was placed on those two specific matters, but the Members’ Council and the affiliates had raised up to 39 different points of concern within the MOI, so a process needed to be followed to deal with that. It also had to reflect, as members, and consult with its various constituencies to obtain their views, and to consolidate.
Unfortunately, this had been a tedious process, which resulted in some timelines not being met. Over time, it had been able to whittle down the issues -- mostly the failed SGM, as had been stated. CSA should do a lot of reflection, not only among itself as members on why it had failed, but also what the key factors were that influenced members not to vote or to vote in a specific manner. It had done a lot of introspection and had had an engagement with the IB to try to find a workable solution for the sport itself. The members had to be mindful that sport would always be bigger than any individual or any affiliate, and it finally arrived at this on Sunday after a long debate and a constructive engagement. He confirmed that it had arrived at a workable document.
Mr Richards said CSA was mindful of the role and the rights given to the Minister in terms of section 13 of the Act, as well as the position of SASCOC, which at times seemed to be divergent, but he was certain they could all find commonality to drive sport to achieve the greatness it deserved.
He concluded the presentation, and announced that Dr Nicolaou joined the meeting.
Dr Nicolaou, IB Chairperson, clarified he had been in the meeting since the beginning, and requested to add further points to Mr Richards’s briefing.
The Chairperson allowed Dr Nicolaou to commence his presentation.
IB Chairperson's presentation
Dr Nicolaou said governance was at the heart of everything the CSA did, not only in the country but also internationally. He would not rehash or recount all the various governance failures and missteps that had happened in cricket in recent times.
The IB had been appointed through a process the Minister had managed, and its appointment had been ratified by the Members’ Council as required in the MOI of CSA on 15 November 2020. De facto, the IB had assumed its roles and responsibilities on that day. Its appointment was for a minimum of three months and a maximum of six months, and the six months would end on 14 May.
Members should be familiar that the Minister had presented a nine-point mandate to the IB. Germane to those nine points was the first one, which was the implementation of the Nicholson recommendations and the restoration of governance within the purview of cricket in South Africa. He would not burden the Committee with the various perceptions that prevailed, both domestically and internationally, about the governance. It was quite obvious why that first point was the germane one. The IB had largely successfully executed the nine points. It would present a report with its findings and recommendations, as well as areas where it had the opportunity to finalise on those nine points. It would do this within the next ten days, and it would be formally handed over to the Minister.
Dr Nicolaou said the one area it had been battling with since inception was the area under discussion -- the implementation of the Nicholson Report. The governance requirements did not start and end with the Nicholson Report. This report was the skeleton, and the IB had to put the flesh on to it. This meant that it had to look at all the other international and domestic best practice governance requirements, whether this was King III and IV, or other best practice requirements, the amended Companies Act, and so forth. This was what it had sought to do.
He would not burden the Committee on the failed SGM and how it had arrived there, as it had been well documented. He could share the timeline with the Committee if necessary, on how it had arrived there, but what was important was how it had moved forward from the SGM, which had been exceedingly disappointing and had placed cricket firmly on the edge of the cliff. If immediate and urgent action was not taken primarily by the Members’ Council and the IB, and if they were unable to find each other with great speed and urgency, cricket would have been pushed off the cliff. The plunge off the cliff would have been a very deep and destructive one, and would probably have placed cricket at a point of no return. Leading up to this point of no return, once there was a failed SGM, it was very conscious of what public opinion was and the opinion of key stakeholders. In the main, those key stakeholders included sponsors, players, multilateral institutions and the staff at CSA, who he commended for their resilience, durability, and commitment under very difficult times. They had stuck together through thick and thin, while many others would not have done so.
Dr Nicolaou emphasised that cricket was not just about a sporting code or discipline -- it was much bigger and broader than that, as it had an educational and economic aspect to it, and it was critical for the international positioning of the country. One should never underestimate how investment bankers and others perceived the country according to how it administered various agencies, organs of state, municipalities, and so on. Cricket did not escape that scrutiny either, and the country had seen this.
In a different world, Dr Nicolaou said he sat on the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) Committee, and for some time now, the Indian colleagues had been raising this issue with him in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek manner, but there was an implied and subliminal message. Resolving this issue with cricket, as the Minister had stated on various occasions, was not only about resolving a sporting code, but was much bigger than that. This referred to how it positioned the country internationally and domestically, and the reputation enhancements and/or diminution it obtained by not resolving this issue. He clarified that his emphasis was not because he wanted to belabour the point, but that it was important to place the right context and relevance to cricket being at the edge of the cliff, and what would have happened if it went over the cliff. The ramifications would have been much broader than simply a sporting code brought to its knees. It would have had significant implications for many sectors of society, as well as for the positioning of the country.
The IB had understood it was on the brink and had to act quickly. It had led to a series of meetings and various interventions and interactions. It had supported the action of the Minister because it clearly understood the powers he had in terms of the Act. However, more importantly, it understood the Minister represented the government and the people of South Africa. He clarified it was not about 200 000 cricketers, it was about 60 million South Africans. He emphasised that the IB understood this, and was aligned with what the Minister was aiming to achieve in this regard.
Successes and amendments to the MOI
A series of meetings had taken place. A pivotal and historic meeting had started at 10am on Sunday 25 April, and had ended around 9pm. Throughout the day, with the legal teams and all the various other support elements, it had been able to arrive at a point of full alignment, completely in agreement with the amendments that were required to be executed on the MOI, to bring cricket into line with modern day governance, with what was best practice, as well as the Nicholson recommendations, which were skeletal in nature, but everything else added the flesh to the skeleton. That was the agreement between the IB and the Members’ Council. The wording had been amended in situ by the lawyers, and by the end of that night it had a final document with which it could trigger a section 60 notice.
He explained a section 60 notice, in terms of the Companies Act and the MOI of CSA, was a process which enabled a round robin resolution to give effect to both special and ordinary resolutions. That process had been triggered, and the MOI containing the amended MOI had been attached to the round robin resolution and circulated to the entire Members’ Council. All the affiliates and all the unions of CSA had received this amended MOI, and there was a special and ordinary resolution, that had to be passed by the Members’ Council.
Dr Nicolaou said he was pleased to report back that at 11am on Tuesday 27 April -- which was a very important date and time to remember -- the resolution had been passed unanimously. All 14 affiliates had voted in favour. It was therefore unanimous and unequivocal, and demonstrated a strong support by cricket in this country to embrace modern day governance and what was best practice domestically and internationally.
Regarding some of the fundamental amendments in the amended MOI, the first thing the IB would do was to provide clarity on the role, accountability, responsibility and transparency between the Members’ Council and the IB. Members would recognise and realise that previously there had been a confused role between the two centres of power, and would understand what would happen when the roles were intertwined and could not be clarified with two centres of power, as there would be no accountability or transparency. That was the first fundamental principle that had been amended.
The second fundamental principle was that it made provision for an independent majority board. This meant that as it had a board of 15 directors, eight would be independent executive directors, which had been signed off. There would be five non-independent directors and two executives completing the board. The two executives would be the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). He would not outline each one in detail, as the IB would make the MOI available for purposes of full transparency at a press conference that afternoon. It would become available to the public and had been signed off. He confirmed that he and Mr Richards were now in a position to release it to the public, as they wished to be transparent.
The final fundamental principle agreed on was an independent chairperson of the board. How would that work in practical terms? It would mean that all 15 directors would elect one of the eight independent directors to be the chairperson. He explained the definition of an “independent” did not mean anyone that had either a sporting administration experience or cricketing knowledge was excluded from this. It meant that at that point in time, they had to be independent. For example, if they were previously involved in cricket, they would have had to serve a cooling-off period. They could not be conflicted. For example, someone on a union could not also sit on the board as an independent, as they were clearly not independent. That had addressed a concern that sporting administrators would be excluded, and all of those with a cricketing background, which was untrue. This had been raised in the media, and these myths should be dispelled forcibly.
As with any board, whether in the public or private sector, the nominations committee was tasked with the responsibility to find the right skills mix and competence for the board. Cricketing and/or sporting knowledge and/or experience, and administrative experience, would form one of those criteria, as would knowledge of accounting, strategy, international relations, legal matters and many of the other skills and competencies that were required to make an effective board. He apologised for being longwinded, but said it was important to outline this in detail.
The first board would be appointed through a process which was contained in the amended MOI. The process sets out an independent directors’ panel which would be composed of six constituencies. Each of the six would nominate one representative to sit on this panel. The panel would screen all the applications for independent directors and arrive at a short list, which would then be taken to the next annual general meeting (AGM). An inaugural board would be appointed at the AGM. The six constituents on the panel included the Institute of Directors, the Members’ Council, the legal fraternity, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), a representative (male or female) who had international experience emanating from the South African Cricketers' Association (SACA), and a nominee or representative from the former President of CSA. The IB believed this was a suitable and appropriate balance and mix to arrive at a shortlist of independent directors that would be put forward for election and appointment at the AGM. He would not go into details of the timelines for the AGM, as it had a very detailed critical path schedule to get it there. The intention was to complete all of this by no later than 12 June.
By this date, CSA would be well on its way to restoration, and it would have a new MOI that each and every South African could be proud of, and would have a new board that would be independent, with an independent chairperson.
The duty and task of the IB would be completed when it made the submission of the report on the nine-point mandate to the Minister, which would happen within the next 10 days. It included advice on how to manage a bit of a vacuum period, which would form part of the report. A lot had happened and had been achieved in the last few days. In true South African fashion, they had sat around a table to engage and dialogue, and had brought things back from the brink of collapse. There would have been no return once it was off the cliff.
Dr Nicolaou concluded by thanking the Minister and his team for their leadership, which had always been at a high level. They had not interfered in any of the processes and small details. It had been was a high-level intervention rather than interference, and it needed to be commended because it had managed to save what had been a very precarious position.
The Chairperson appreciated that the Committee had received the full details of what had been happening since 13 October 2020. Some Members were concerned, as they had been observing what had been presented today since the Committee’s last meeting in 2020.
Mr Mhlongo said all the stakeholders -- the Minister, CSA and SASCOC -- had made it difficult for Members to do oversight on the matter, as the Committee had not received a copy of all the documents that were mentioned, such as the amended MOI as well as the old one, the King III and IV reports, and 15 directors’ roles and responsibilities. He proposed greater participation by the Committee in sports matters in future. Issues such as the CSA matter should not be heard in the media before the Committee was aware of what was happening.
He asked if there was a dispute between SASCOC and CSA. If so, why did it involve section 13, as the Minister clearly stated he was dealing with this section? He requested all the entities to clarify where in the Nicholson Report there was a requirement that the federation must have an independent director as president. Which line in the Nicholson Report clearly stated that independent directors must be presidents?
Why had the argument between the previous Sports Minister and the current Minister been ignored? The argument he was aware of, between the previous Minister and SASCOC, had been totally ignored by Minister Mthethwa because there had been an agreement.
He asked whether the process followed with CSA would be applied to all the national federations. Why were the other federations complying with SASCOC MOI? Would this differ from the amended MOI for CSA? Would the South African Football Association (SAFA), the South African Rugby Union (SARU) and all other federations be treated the same, especially with their transgressions? What precedents would be set with all this moving forward, especially to all federations? Was this a precedent that would be implemented for all sports sectors?
He asked if it was the Minister's intention to ensure all national federations included a majority of independent directors on all their boards. If not, why not? Did the Minister respect the democratic rights of sports structures to elect their leaders? Was he aware of the critical role played by leaders in sports as volunteers from grassroots, and in other top levels of government? Had he followed the correct processes in invoking section 13? Did he engage with the SASCOC board under the new leadership of Mr Hendricks to resolve this matter? He explained the reasons he asked these questions, referring to the October meeting where the Committee had clearly stated it did not support the AGM of SASCOC. The Minister had indicated he had not been aware of this. He asked if these issues, which the Minister and the president of SASCOC had seen for themselves, had been resolved. He requested the Minister to respond to the question he had asked in October as to whether he was aware that some members of SASCOC’s board were implicated, as they had a conflict of interest.
Had the new amended MOI been presented to SASCOC to date for adoption and approval? If this was not yet done, could the Committee get an implementation plan on what would happen?
Had SASCOC accepted the changes, because it had been indicated in the media that it had not accept the changes as there were issues between it and the Minister.
The Chairperson interjected to request Mr Mhlongo to wrap up his questions.
Mr Mhlongo noted the request, and asked if the CSA Members’ Council had made the amendment on 27 April under duress, or if it had been voluntary.
He said in future, all the documents mentioned should be provided so that Members could ask follow-up questions. Was there a legislative process that stipulated how the MOU should be adopted? Why were the IB and the Minister not adhering to the process? Was the IB going to leave office on 14 May?
Mr B Madlingozi (EFF) asked about the position of SASCOC on the withdrawal of the gazette, based on the media statement it released. He noted the MOI and what it entailed, but through the back and forth information the Committee had been reading, it was aware there were disputes about it. If the Minister withdrew the invocation, was it for the good of the office or was it to submit to the unrepentant Members’ Council that was hell bent on blocking meaningful changes in cricket, as if it was their fiefdom? What had been the real reasons for the Minister to back down on it?
To CSA, he asked what happened to the black cricket players who were, and still are, victims of the Members’ Council’s actions. He did not believe the Members’ Council thought cricket was bigger than itself, as it had forgotten that it must respect South Africa, because they could not play outside South Africa.
Why had the Members’ Council and all the SASCOC members decided to agree to what they were supposed to do a long time ago by agreeing on 28 April? What were the hidden plans of the Members’ Council?
Mr Mamabolo said he was happy the matter had been put to rest, and told the Minister he was only concerned about the players on the field, not the issue of administrators fighting. The Committee had told SAFA members it does not want it to enter into a dispute because it was concerned about the development of sport in the country. He had been concerned last week when he saw this issue in the media and the letter from SASCOC. He was happy that SASCOC could focus on sport itself, as Mr Hendricks would be going for the Olympics later this year, and he should prepare teams that would be competitive to put the country on the map.
To CSA, he emphasised the urgency of transformation. He said that, for example, when growing up, some Members used to play for the Bakers Mini League, but these days this no longer existed. There were now children all over the streets that were engaged in the nyaope and drug programmes. Members were concerned, as they wanted sports to remove them from the streets. He had been fuming and intended to lambast the three entities in this meeting, but he was satisfied they had been able to resolve the matter amicably.
Mr D Joseph (DA) said that in the Minister’s briefing, one could hear it appeared he had had enough and that these processes had to be concluded. When the Minister said SASCOC had handed the matter back to him, that was not a good story -- it was an indication SASCOC was unable to handle the situation at the level that was required on behalf of South Africa.
He was new on the Committee, as he had started in January 2021, and would like to read the Nicholson Report and ascertain whether all stakeholders followed it.
He said SASCOC had let South Africa and CSA down. Reading these documents, it was not about CSA, as it had to follow its constitution, but he assumed everyone would now have to change their constitutions to follow the new path the country was going to follow.
He appreciated Mr Richards saying the Fundudzi Report was there, and was certain it would be followed through. He noted the important point made by Mr Richards that sports would always be bigger than the individuals.
He was looking forward to the nine-point mandate the Committee was hoping for.
In closing, he said Members must respect the Minister’s position and role, but this was a democratic South Africa and many departments’ ministers had been taken to court. He emphasised the Nicholson Report presented by the Minister was exactly what the report asked. If it was not, the Minister had the right to present new recommendations or views of the Minister and the Department.
The Committee was looking forward to South Africa going forward from here and that the existing differences would be resolved in the interest of the country. It had been unhappy until today, as it now had a better understanding of what was happening, but democracy must win.
Mr C Sibisi (NFP) thanked the Minister for his patience in trying to resolve this issue, because the Committee had been concerned about what was happening.
Addressing CSA and SASCOC, he said sports bodies should not be bigger than the sporting community or society, because they were not supposed to arrive at a situation where there were commissions’ reports, as well as the Nicholson Report. Why had it been reluctant to implement? SASCOC as a federation was a mother body to all these sporting codes. It was supposed to support the Minister from the beginning and to implement what was best for the country.
He said CSA had to transform, and SASCOC must care about the people of South Africa. Sport was not about individuals, it was about all South African people. The Committee was happy the issue had been resolved amicably, and it believed going forward, it should not experience this kind of situation again.
Mr Seabi commended the Minister for his steadfastness, as he had been dutifully firm and unwavering on issues like transformation that could not be compromised. That was why the government of the day was there to ensure transformation was fast-tracked. It was nine years since the Nicholson Report was presented. This meant the issue of transformation had been postponed for nine years. Players and former players had been crying but today, with this agreement as it was reported to the Committee with what the Minister had done, there was hope there would be transformation, and it could then discuss sport.
He had heard SASCOC would have a meeting on 8 May to review the MOI. He had also heard there would be a media conference today to present the agreement which, in the main, was the MOI. What was the implication of this? If SASCOC did not agree with certain processes, what would be the implication, or was that meeting simply academic? Why had SASCOC withdrawn from the process in the beginning? It was reported SASCOC was part of the process but had later withdrawn. Why did this happen? What did SASCOC mean by its media statement that the Minister had overstepped his mandate?
What was the status of all the labour disputes and court challenges facing CSA?
He asked if the Committee could receive details of the new governance structure that would be presented to the public today, as well as its mandate.
What would be done, as this back and forth pulling and pushing had come with reputational damage to CSA? What was the thinking, and how would this be corrected so that South Africa could go back to its standing as a respected country in terms of cricket? South Africa had been among the top three, if not the top five, as a country.
The Chairperson thanked all officials and Members participating in this meeting. It was also historical, because on 13 October 2020 the Committee had tasked the Department, SASCOC and CSA, and had particularly requested SASCOC to assist and be part of this to see transformation happening. For example, in cricket, one must see young ones from rural, poor and from all sectors having representation as cricket players. Since 13 October, CSA had been aware of what had happened on 14 October, 23 October, 25 October, as well as 25 November. This had kept her up, as she followed everything. Even if the Department did not have time to brief the Committee daily -- as the problem had been daily since 13 October -- the Committee had believed it would resolve this amicably, but it was not until today. The players had been unaware whether they would be playing, because when the Council or Executive were fighting amongst themselves, this could affect the players' performance. In addition, the statements from the leader of SASCOC, which was entrusted to perform certain duties, had raised questions. She said SASCOC and CSA had to work together.
The Chairperson thanked all the stakeholders, and said she hoped the focus on transformation would remain. She was satisfied, as well as the people of South Africa, as they were questioning what had been happening, but the Committee could not respond as it did not have the information until today. She was aware this matter was "live," as people were witnessing what was happening. She emphasised as a Committee, they were happy.
Mr Mhlongo interjected. He raised a point of order that it was not “as a Committee”.
The Chairperson asked Mr Mhlongo to clarify his point of order.
He responded that the Chairperson said, “as a Committee, we are happy”. He clarified he was not part of that statement, as he was not happy.
The Chairperson noted Mr Mhlongo’s point. She clarified that she would speak for herself and those Members who had indicated they were happy that the entities had reached this stage with amicable solutions. She hoped this would not be reversed.
Mr Zondi said he wanted to ask three questions. The first question was on the MOI -- what did this entail, and what was in it? The second question was on SASCOC, which had been raised by Mr Seabi -- why had it withdrawn from the process? The third question was on the implementation process, but this had been clearly outlined in the presentation. He was looking forward to 12 June, when the final stage would be reached, to see the full structure and the tasks of the structure.
He told Minister Mthethwa the Committee had lost patience during the time of Minister Balfour. People had a choice to vote either for the status quo or for the transformation agenda. Whatever decision was taken on transformation, the citizens of South Africa support it. If the chosen few did not want to follow this agenda, it was their decision, but the people of South Africa supported transformation as they had lost patience while waiting. He had heard all the processes involved which the Minister had clearly outlined and followed, as well as the presentation on the MOI implementation processes. The Committee thanked the Minister for this decision, and fully supported him -- not only the Cabinet he served, or his political party. He agreed with the Chairperson and the Committee that the people of South Africa supported the Minister, as they wanted transformation now. The Committee was aware of the Act the Minister had invoked when he took his decision. It fully supported and thanked him for this decision, which was long overdue.
Mr Zondi said the Committee had been patient with these structures, but he questioned why it had taken CSA this long to concur with the MOI. Since it had agreed it would follow the decision of the report of the MOI, the Committee was grateful for this decision. It would assist South Africa, and the country's children would benefit because it was a progressive decision.
Minister Mthethwa suggested the Members Council, the IB, and SASCOC take questions that were addressed to them, and he would then respond to questions last, as he had to leave to prepare for the historic announcement to the nation later that day.
The Chairperson proposed starting with the Minister, as she was concerned the entities would not complete their responses by the time he had to leave the meeting.
The Minister responded that he would wait for them to complete their responses.
Mr Hendricks responded to Mr Mhlongo’s question on whether there were disputes between SASCOC and CSA. He said there were not, but if any of SASCOC’s board members felt he was missing out on any points, they should come in to address it.
Did the Nicholson Report recommend an independent chairperson be instituted? He said no. Was this setting a precedent for other federations? He said yes -- not only for other federations, but if this process continued, one could almost assume it would be forced upon the provinces. If this recommendation indicated that sports structures must consist of a majority of independents, it had huge ramifications in terms of precedents, but he would speak about this later.
Did the Minister consult with SASCOC? He said SASCOC had written letters to the Minister requesting a meeting when it reached the stage of the MOI. As he had mentioned earlier, the Minister had indicated he would meet with SASCOC as and when he deemed fit. He clarified this was the position SASCOC was in, as it had wanted to consult and engage, and to prevent the matters that had unfolded over the past week, so it was unfortunate it was not provided with the opportunity and process for constructive engagement.
What was SASCOC’s position? Mr Hendricks said SASCOC’s position was very clear in terms of a democratic elective process for all its members, and for its members to proceed to elect its leaders, as it did with the national government, to allow those members without being coerced, pressurised, or forced by the implementation of legislation to allow them to do their duty to vote in a transparent and democratic manner.
He said the Nicholson Report in 2013 had recommended that the majority of board members be independent. However, SASCOC, through its process of a constructive engagement with the then Minister and the Department, as well as the Department’s legal team in 2012/13, had concluded that sport remained a democratic process, and independent people could not be thrust on the sports organisations. [former] Minister Mbalula had agreed with that process then, and that was why the current makeup of the CSA board was without the majority independent representation. This remained SASCOC’s position, even when it had the Zulman recommendations, one of which was that the President of SASCOC should be an independent person. The SASCOC board had been able to sit down with [former] Minister Xasa, the Department, and the then DG, Mr Alec Moemi, to come to the same agreement that sports leaders should be elected, and should not be independents thrust upon the sports structures. Minister Xasa had agreed to that principle and that understanding.
At the last meeting, CSA had indicated that the Minister had pressurised it to sign the MOI and had threatened to invoke section 13. He said section 13 specifically stated that the Minister could not get involved or interfere in the election of sports administrators. By insisting, demanding and threatening to invoke section 13, the Minister was in direct conflict with the Act and the clause of the Act, as that threat was to indicate that if it did not change its constitution or its elective process of administrators, section 13 would be invoked. SASCOC stood by its position that the elective process must be a democratic elective process by sports people, but this did not mean it was not of the opinion that independent specialists were required. It agreed with the Zulman Committee report that it should include two independent specialists to assist it in its decision making, and it had two young black women in the field of legal and finance assisting it in its deliberations.
At SASCOC’s last AGM, it had transformed itself in a major way. It now had more women serving on the SASCOC board than men, and in terms of its demographics, it was quite sound on black representation versus white representation. Mr Hendricks emphasised SASCOC was committed to transforming itself and its members, but the programme of transformation at this stage was housed within the Department of Sport with the Eminent Persons' Group (EPG) programme, and the monitoring that particular process.
On 8 May, the members would take a decision on the MOI. It had put together a task team of board members to prepare a position statement on this matter. He was certain the members would deliberate thoroughly on the implications of the precedents that could be set with such an MOI.
Mr Hendricks said SASCOC had not withdrawn from the MOI process. It had written to the Minister in 2020 stating that due to lack of resources with the previous board, SASCOC was in financial difficulty. It foresaw that CSA at the time would probably take it to court, and SASCOC could not afford to spend money on legal processes again. It was because of this reason that it had requested the Minister to assist. It had not reneged on its duties, as it was simply the position it was faced with. With the new phase, with the Fududzi Report being done away with and with the new MOI coming in, SASCOC had engaged with the Minister by writing to him to request a meeting to discuss these matters. Unfortunately, it had been unable to meet.
SASCOC had a leadership role and recognised this, but sometimes people did not like the position it takes. It had taken this particular position in the interests of democracy, openness and transparency, as well as to protect the sporting environment from undue and unnecessary influence. It fully appreciated the role of government in formulating the constitution of the country which guided SASCOC, but it also had its own constitution to follow. If it did not follow that, it would have implications on SASCOS’s participation in other events such as the Olympics, Paralympics and others. SASCOC would follow its constitution as per the recommendations of the Zulman Committee.
Dr Nicolaou said he had clustered the questions and would not mention each one, as some were linked. He would address five of the clusters and respond accordingly, and invited Mr Richards from the Members’ Council to provide any additional or complementary responses.
Firstly, on the question of the process that had been followed with the amendment of the MOI, he said the process that was followed was a section 60 process of the Companies Act as amended. Section 60 enabled and allowed a round robin resolution for a special resolution to be passed. The process was followed accordingly, in line with section 60 of the Act. The culmination of that was a round robin resolution voting system that was unanimously adopted. The MOI as amended was adopted.
On how CSA would mitigate the reputational damage that had been done, he said cricket had been subject to reputational damage for many years. The best and simplest way to restore its reputation was quite simply by ensuring its governance was of an appropriate, suitable, acceptable global and domestic standard. This was what CSA sought to do. Today's announcement would be a historic one, because people were looking for a sustainable governance framework moving forward, and when this was supplied, that in itself started instilling confidence and restoring the reputation of cricket.
On the MOI and when CSA would share it, he said Mr Richards could share it immediately with the secretariat, and it could then be distributed to Members.
Dr Nicolaou said there was a broad thematic around openness, transparency and accountability. It was widely accepted throughout the entire country that CSA needed an independent majority board. No person could claim they did not know that an independent majority board made for good governance. It was required, and it was what it replicated throughout its structures. The Nicholson Report had been the skeleton, and CSA had to add the flesh on to it. He clarified that its mandate from the Minister, as an IB, was to implement the Nicholson Report and restore governance. Restoring governance meant it must meet the appropriate international and domestic requirements, expectations and needs of governance. That was exactly what it had done as an IB. Any governance expert in the world would agree that an independent majority board and an independent chairperson were necessary. The CSA was hopeful there was no one disputing that independence was what removed conflicts of interest, or mitigated it significantly, and enabled a much more appropriate governance framework. It was according to that mandate that it had moved ahead to reach the point it had currently arrived at.
In response to Mr Mhlongo on the SASCOC matter, he clarified the mandate of the Board. He said the mandate given to the Board was to deliver on the Nicholson recommendations, as well as the restoration of governance. SASCOC had participated initially in the three-a-side process CSA had set up, which included three from the Members’ Council, three from SASCOC, and three from the IB. On 9 February, CSA had received correspondence from SASCOC, via the Members’ Council, indicating it was withdrawing from the three-a-side process. This process set the platform for the final MOI that was adopted by a round robin resolution. There was a role initially for SASCOC, but it had pulled out by its own correspondence, and had requested CSA to proceed as the Members’ Council and IB with the process to completion, which it had now done.
The Chairperson invited Mr Richards to make additional comments.
Mr Richards referred to the question posed directly as to whether this matter had been resolved under duress. He said the Committee should understand that as a Member Council, it was very mindful of all the matters it had to attend to. By the very definition of duress, he could unequivocally say the CSA was under much pressure, but the most overriding pressure that had to be recognised was that it had to do what was right for the game. He stated categorically that since day one, the action of the Minister -- even the appointment of the IB -- was never done in terms of any section of the Act. It was actually done by consensus. The document that had now been arrived at was by consensus between the IB and the Members’ Council. There had been an allusion to the status and the position of the International Cricket Council (ICC) on this matter, and the CSA had always had the Minister to write to the ICC to explain his position. Mr Richards said he had been in constant contact with the ICC. There had been a statement by the ICC that until the Members’ Council raised this matter, it would not get involved. The Members’ Council stance was always that this was a South African matter, and a CSA matter between itself and the government, and that it wished to deal with it as such. This did not affect its status within the ICC as a body. He said this must be clearly known. It had made it clear to the ICC as a sporting federation that CSA enjoyed a healthy relationship with the government which could not be undermined through this process.
The Chairperson thanked the entities for its responses. She asked the Minister to respond.
Mr Mkhize asked if he could respond before the Minister.
The Chairperson said she would allow the DG to respond first.
Ms M Khawula (EFF) Alt interjected. She asked a question in her vernacular language [2:08:30].
There was an exchange between the Chairperson and Ms Khawula and no translation was provided [2:08:40 - 2:13:16].
Mr Mkhize affirmed that the Minister’s intervention had always been guided by legislation. At all times, there had been very clear guidance on the legislation and what the Sport and Recreation Act stipulated on the powers of the Minister. He thought the deliberately selective attempt by the president of SASCOC to ignore section 13, which outlined a step-by-step process for what a dispute resolution mechanism was when the federations were facing these challenges, was disingenuous. He explained that this was because the entire section 13, from section 13(1)(b), and particularly section 13 (2)(a), provided that where a dispute could not be resolved by a sports body, in terms of section 13 (1)(a) and 13 (1)(b) the dispute must be resolved by the sports confederation, which was SASCOC. This had been highlighted, and Mr Hendricks had acknowledged this.
Mr Hendricks called a point of order.
Mr Mkhize said the matter had been brought to Mr Hendricks’ attention.
The Chairperson said that if Mr Hendricks wanted to respond after all the presenters on SASCOC’s contribution, she would allow this. The Committee was mindful of time, and she suspected other Members would want to ask follow-up questions. She asked Members and presenters to hold off from interjecting, as she would allow everyone who wanted to respond to comments from other Members or presenters a chance to do so.
Mr Hendricks noted this.
The Chairperson thanked Mr Hendricks, and allowed Mr Mkhize to continue.
Mr Mkhize said after that the subsequent subsection 13 (2)(b) stipulated that SASCOC must notify the Minister. 13 (5)(a) indicated that the Minister may intervene should SASCOC fail to resolve the matter. By Mr Hendricks’ own admission, SASCOC had referred the matter to the Minister, although the rationale given was that it faced financial constraints or a legal threat. However, this did not change the fact that it had asked the Minister to intervene. The Minister, guided by legislation, had had to look at what means of intervention could be made. If the sequence of events were followed, it was clear that even at that time, there was no threat to use section 13(5), because the Minister used all the mechanisms of engagement. Only when engagements were not yielding results, it had found itself in the position where it was yesterday regarding the gazette. He emphasised that there was a process.
He referred to the agreements with the previous Ministers, as had been raised today, and said that if they had had the intended outcome or consequence, the Department would not be here in this session. Things had not changed. Cricket was still facing the same challenges that were there in 2013, if not aggravated. The Minister’s intervention was informed by several representations, among them concerns about the turnover of senior leadership in cricket and the threats and actual withdrawals by key sponsors that had supported cricket for many years. With the current status quo, it was clear those agreements with the Ministers had not yielded the desired results, and it therefore could not maintain a situation that did not change things for the desired outcome. He said Mr Hendricks was aware there were problems.
It was incorrect for SASCOC to claim it was not part of the process. As had been indicated, the three-a-side process had been established, and it had been SASCOC’s choice to withdraw. It was not that it had not been included in the process, as this would be misleading South Africans who might be watching and listening to this meeting. SASCOC had withdrawn, as had been stated by Dr Nicolaou, in writing.
Minister Mthethwa thanked the Members for their contributions.
Referring to CSA, and what Dr Nicolaou and Mr Richards had said, he responded that the Department was dealing with people who had engaged tactically on a matter that had to be resolved. Their engagement in the final analysis had paid off for South Africa. Sports in South Africa would never be the same due to their engagement, because they had spoken in one voice -- a voice for progress.
The Minister said that when listening to what Mr Hendricks had said, he had spoken in a different direction altogether, because SASCOC had not been engaged or involved, and it did not know what had been happening. SASCOC had decided to pull out of the three-a-side arrangement, and then wanted to meet the Minister. His approach was that the matter was being dealt with from a sporting point of view, so it had to go back there. His stance was that there could not be two parallel processes on the same issue. It was for the Members to hear SASCOC against a progressive move from CSA. It was noting whatever SASCOC was doing every step of the way, but it was not helping cricket. What was helping cricket was what the Members’ Council and the IB had agreed to.
On Mr Zondi’s comments, the Minister said he summed it up to put aside sugar coating as people would be doing this. He said Mr Zondi's comments summed up the transformation matter that was being dealt with, which suggested one should retain the status quo, do not touch it, and claim certain things about sports run by sports people. Cricket had been run to the ground by sports people, but that was not considered. He thanked Mr Zondi for supporting transformation, because in the final analysis, both in the field of playing and in the administration of sport, transformation would take place.
He said the Chairperson’s observation that SASCOC had pulled out was correct, but he had heard Mr Hendricks said it had not. He said SASCOC had pulled out in the middle of the same process of the MOI that was being discussed. It pulled out of the three-a-side, and the process could not wait for SASCOC. The process had continued, and it would continue going forward with all other challenges because society must transform. When change happened, it was sometimes difficult and sometimes people felt pain in their comfort zones. He said this was a correct characterisation of what was currently happening.
He referred to the stories of abandoning democratic processes. He said the Nationalist Party had done the same thing in its majority, as it thought it was democratic, but until structures were democratic, there was no democracy that would arise from untransformed structures.
On the pressure Mr Hendricks had referred to -- that he had been told by members of CSA that it was pressurised by the Minister -- Mr Richards made a point in this meeting that the pressure CSA understood was pressure to do good for sport and for the country. He could not add anything to what Mr Richards had said on the matter because he had covered this clearly. He had emphasised that anything which was against transformation would not be tolerated.
The Minister agreed with Mr Seabi that this matter was not about government and this success and victory was not about government, but it was victory for the people of South Africa. It was a victory for the players and former players that, at the end of the day, it had listened and met with these people. It heard their cries and had responded. It could not sit unmoved by what they were saying.
He thanked Mr Sibisi for his kind words on what was happening and for his understanding of the matters at SASCOC. He agreed with him on that matter.
He said Mr Joseph had been correct, as there was a time when the Department was running out of patience when seeing how it was being managed, with people wanting the status quo to continue. Anyone who was committed to the status quo must know they had a challenge on their hands because it would not be allowed to continue. Within the law, the status quo would be challenged so that sport became the winner at the end of the day. Cricket in South Africa had its peers in England, New Zealand or Australia that were also following the same model, because it was a good model for sound governance by having a majority of independents
The Department emphasised, in line with Mr Joseph’s point that the Fundudzi Report should be circulated and be given to the public. CSA wanted to hide that report, but it was currently in the public domain. He would ask CSA to ensure Members had this report. He told Mr Joseph that the IB was in the middle of implementing and effecting what came out of this report.
The Minister said transformation had to win, and he was glad that Mr Mamabolo had raised the point that there were children out there who wanted to see themselves represented at a particular stage in cricket. This was a move in the right direction.
Minister Mthethwa said his favourite questions were from Mr Madlingozi, such as whether he had bowed to pressure to withdraw the invoking of the Act and the government gazette, as well as the point raised by other Members on black cricket players suffering and still raising their views. Mr Madlingozi had touched on the key issue, which was transformation, and the majority of black cricket players, mostly ex-players, raised these issues many times when they left cricket. The moves which were being done and the firm approach it had taken from the beginning was based on their experience. The Department was interacting those players, some of whom were ex-administrators, and others crying old men narrating their stories. Some people want to preserve this and maintain the status quo, and for those facing covert racism to continue to suffer. The Department would not agree with this, and it had never bowed to any pressure. CSA had done exactly what the Department had said must be done, to transform. That was why it would not go ahead, because CSA had responded in the correct way. If CSA had not responded correctly, the Department would have had no choice.
To Mr Mhlongo, he said the Department had a mandate from the manifesto of the governing party, and it was implementing that mandate. It would, as a courtesy, occasionally inform the Committee and in other instances engage with it if time allowed, which had not happened in this instance. If there was no time and things had to be done, it would do what was supposed to be done.
On the question of why he had ignored former Ministers, he said those former Ministers were part and parcel of the governing party, and in the true style of how ministers worked in this party, people were given time to internalise things, and even it meant it would take years, it would do this. He said Minister Mbalula had done this because he understood transformation was needed in this country. He had hoped sense at some point would prevail from sporting bodies such as CSA and so on, as well as Minister Xasa. Both of the previous Ministers, including himself, had walked from this path of the materialist conception of history. The fact was that nothing was static, and everything was subject to change, and therefore they were giving people a chance. Members must recall that it was under those Ministers’ leadership, especially Minister Mbalula, that the Nicholson Report was discussed today. Government had spent millions on that report, so it would want to ensure the maximum benefit was derived from it.
He told Mr Mhlongo that transformation would affect the entire sporting sector. The governing party had been discussing transformation since 1994. It would reach all spheres. and it would ensure this happened in sport.
He assured Mr Mhlongo that he had followed all the processes. He had explained to the sporting bodies that it was not the Department's intention, long before it had to intervene, to intervene, and it had said the sporting bodies should deal with the matter. It had followed all the processes and, as Mr Richards correctly mentioned, it had always sought consensus. Mr Richards would indicate that even with the SGM, the problem was that sometimes people got advised by those who wanted to rule from the grave, but this would not happen. The Department had been very gentle and kind with everyone, nudging and pleading, but still following all the processes.
The Minister said since the beginning, he had been the one who gave SASCOC, based on the law, the process to engage in this process. Where he had not was when SASCOC had wanted to interject in the process which had started in October 2020. He had written to Mr Hendricks to inform him the matter was in the Minister’s hands and, if anything, it should come via the Minister so that he could engage, and he would clarify any matters that needed to be clarified.
A point Mr Mhlongo had raised, which was not related to this, was important, as he had mentioned the conflict of interest of SASCOC members. He did not think the Department could afford to ignore this. He suggested that this should be written down and formally raised with SASCOC, and for the Department to be copied in by Mr Mhlongo. He was certain there would be an intervention to look into what was happening, to try to correct it.
The Minister said he was grateful to the Committee. which shared the view that things could not continue the same way and had to change. The entities should work together as they were doing in this instance to enforce change. Change should come freely, but if it could not come freely, then the Department had to find a way of enforcing change to reassure those parents who had written to the Minister over a period of time about their children looking into the future of cricket, and those staff members of CSA who faced a bleak future because people could not do the right thing. As Mr Richards had correctly indicated, it should exert pressure for the good of the country.
The Minister said when the time came for a discussion on SASCOC, the Department would deal with the matters raised by Mr Mhlongo and get to the bottom of them in order to move forward.
The Minister concluded his responses, and asked the Chairperson to allow him to leave the meeting.
The Chairperson thanked the Minister. She noted his request and informed Members she would be releasing the Minister from the meeting.
Mr Mhlongo interjected, and asked the Chairperson to allow him to raise an issue before she released the Minister. He said Members supported transformation, and the elephant in the room was not transformation, it was the dispute. He asked if there was a dispute or not? He said Mr Richards had indicated that the IB had reached consensus not because of the dispute, but because the Minister had stepped in. He said the Minister should read section 13 concurrently the entire session. He fully supported the Minister's view that it needed intervention, not interference, but the Minister’s intervention had to follow process.
Mr Mhlongo said his question had not been answered. For example, the Minister had not provided a presentation. In another meeting the Minister attended, he had told Members how to vote. He said it was not democratic when he informed Members how to vote.
The Minister interjected, and said it was.
Mr Mhlongo disagreed.
The Minister said Mr Mhlongo would not finish, and he had to leave to prepare for the announcement.
Mr Mhlongo continued to speak as the Minister tried to clarify his point.
The Chairperson called the Minister out of order. She asked Mr Mhlongo to be concise and precise.
Mr Mhlongo said he was allowed to raise a preamble, as this was a Committee. He said the Minister thought he did not support transformation. He clarified that he had supported transformation for some time, and he recognised that the Minister supported it. The elephant in the room was that the Committee was discussing the Members Council. Throughout the democratic process, it was in the media that it was under gunfire, and Mr Mkhize should not engage the Committee with trivialities. He said there was no dispute according to Mr Richards and SASCOC, but the Minister had indicated there was a dispute. He asked who the Committee must believe.
The Chairperson asked Mr Mhlongo to round off his questions to allow the Minister to respond.
Mr Mhlongo said Members did not want political interference. It wanted what it did on its right to be done on its left. The Minister had indicated that it would be evident across the board. He would be observing and monitoring the process of the MOIs of all sectors and federations being amended, based on the Minister’s recommendation.
Mr Seabi said for the Committee to be consistent, the Zulman Report must be followed up on. The Committee must receive a report in due course on its progress, as it could not commission reports for the sake of commissioning reports when it spends a lot of money.
The Chairperson allowed the Minister to respond.
The Minister thanked Mr Mhlongo. He said he had mentioned everything he wanted to say.
Mr Hendricks interjected. He said he still had a point of order.
Ms Khawula asked a question in her vernacular language [2:51:50].
The Minister said he had responded to Members because this was the meeting of Parliament. Mr Mhlongo was entitled to his views on the matter. He emphasised that he had explained the processes that had been followed. Mr Mhlongo was among the few in the country who held such views on this matter.
He said there had never been any confusion on his part about the Act. The Minister was the custodian of the Act, and the Department would not do something that was not in the Act. It would not focus on sideshows. If people suddenly posed as more expert than government, he would not touch on the consequences of the transparency of the Act itself. It would effect what needed to be effected, and that was transformation.
The Chairperson said the Ministry, CSA and SASCOC had not brought any documentation. She therefore did not expect that some of the presenters wanted to challenge others when they presented, especially on section 13 (1)(a) and (2)(b). Because of that, she had allowed everyone to contribute their views. She would not allow the presenters to interact amongst themselves because the Committee would be observing, and it had given them enough time to present. She had allowed Members to ask follow-up questions because it was always the case that Members did not have the information. The three arms -- the Department, CSA and SASCOC -- had been doing interjections amongst themselves for many months, if not a year, since 2020.
Mr Hendricks interjected. He said the Chairperson had asked him to wait on a point of order.
The Chairperson said she was rounding up. She had noted Mr Hendricks wanted to respond to Mr Mkhize, who had talked about section 13 and unpacked 13 (1)(a), 13 (1)(b), and 13 (2)(a). She said both Mr Hendricks and Mr Mkhize had not brought the documents the Committee should look at, and therefore she would not allow the three presenters to do what they had been doing since 2020. She said both structures should give the Committee the information in writing, as well as section 13, which CSA agreed that the Minister had invoked. It was only SASCOC that was having a problem. She said it should come back, or the Committee would call it back.
She thanked all the presenters, as they had given the Committee the information it sought. She ruled the meeting was adjourned until the Committee met again.
She said SASCOC was in the Committee’s programme, and it still owed the Committee a meeting. It would call SASCOC, because it was supposed to be with the Committee when it discussed cricket.
She thanked the structures for the meeting and for the flow of information. Through the Chairperson’s office, the Committee would be writing and requesting the information it did not have. She noted Mr Joseph was not the only one new in the Committee.
Everything that had been discussed on the implementation of the Nicholson Report and the Fundudzi Report, which was not easy to obtain, must be forwarded to her office.
The meeting was adjourned.
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