The meeting was called as a follow-up to an earlier meeting to discuss the conflict within Cricket South Africa, which had resulted over the controversial selection of the South African cricket team to tour Bangladesh. There was a protocol for the ratification of national teams, but there was uncertainty over what should happen should the President not approve the team. The President and the Chief Executive Officer were the custodians of the policies of Cricket South
The Committee felt that there was still not enough being done to effect transformation in cricket. A target had been set of seven players of colour in a touring team, and the franchise teams had a target of four players. However, previously disadvantaged players were still not on an equal basis with their white counterparts. Transformation was a national imperative, and was a requirement of the Constitution as well as the Sport and Recreation Amendment Act.
Members of the Committee felt that not enough was being done to develop black players. More development was needed at school level, which would help to identify new players who could then be developed to international standard. While there were many black players at lower levels, it seemed there was a ceiling that they could not penetrate to reach the top levels, both at professional and international level. Black players, when selected, were either treated as reserves or given one chance and then discarded.
Sport was important in society for several reasons. One of the most important was for nation building and reconciliation. The Cricket South Africa delegation was urged to continue to implement its transformation policies. The President and Chief Executive Officer were reminded of their particular roles in implementing the body’s policies. Serious concern was also expressed about what was seen as a mutiny amongst the senior players, and the Chairperson expressed his opinion that such players should have their contracts terminated immediately.
Cricket SA (CSA): Transformation Plan: Continuation of discussions
The Chairperson said that this was a follow-up meeting. The transformation issue was a contentious one. Cricket South Africa (CSA) had produced a plan up front. The plan presented by Mr Gerald Majola, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), CSA, had presented the plan, and this had been what had transpired when the team taking part in the 2007 Cricket World Cup had been announced. There were still issues that needed to be cleared up.
He noted that CSA had brought a big group to attend the meeting. He hoped that they would leave this meeting without any doubts. In the past eight years he had never seen such a large cricket delegation. He cast his mind back to the dispute between Griqualand West and the
The Chairperson said that where the government gave money to federations they were expected to come to Parliament. There were contingency funds on the Committee’s budget. They would normally call three or four persons when needed. The Committee had taken exception to some remarks attributed to Adv Norman Arendse, President of CSA, and had written a letter of invitation to him to state his case at the Committee. Certain protocols had to be followed. The members of the delegation did not need to be afraid of talking to the Committee. Other General Council (GenCo) members had been invited, and all involved needed to move together. Outside of the meeting, provincial presidents should communicate with the Committee through the CEO of CSA. They must refrain from making public comments.
A meeting had been held the previous week. The Minister and his Deputy had been present together with Adv Arendse and Mr Majola. One major problem had been identified, namely the selection of the South African team which was currently touring
The Chairperson said that representivity was a Constitutional requirement. If the President and CEO were to sanction the team in contravention of the Act they would be breaking the law. This could not happen, as the law must be respected. Teams had to be selected in accordance with the Act. No lily-white teams would be tolerated. He noted that the French rugby and soccer teams, as well as other European teams, were more representative than South African teams. The concept of merit selection was being distorted by many people. It was not fair to compare a boy with no facilities at his disposal to a boy from
He said that boys had to be developed while still at school. The same programme and approach was needed. The national coach was beginning to do this, but had to remember that he was not bigger than the game. The Committee had read the documents but wished to see how policies were being implemented. The coach could not be both referee and player. It was up to the selectors to select the best team, and the coach had to coach the team given to him.
The Chairperson said that some of the statements made during the spat over the team selection had been taken out of context and sensationalised by the media. It did seem that there was a grey area in the procedure. It was up to the President of CSA to sign off the team. He was not a selector, but had the right to refer a team back to the selectors if he was not happy. The Constitution of CSA was vague as to what should happen if this were to happen but the selectors refused to make any suggested changes. The President had the power of veto which he could use if the team did not conform to CSA policy guidelines or the provisions of the Act, but this was an uncertain area.
He drew the attention of the President and CEO to the Act. It was the President who had the final say over the composition of the team, not the selectors nor the coach. Parliament would not select the team, but did want to see representivity. All South Africans had to proud of the team.
The Chairperson said that today’s presentation would see if the constitution of the national and provincial bodies were the same. There were some non-negotiable clauses. Clarity was needed on the current transformation policy and selection criteria. The Committee was a component of Parliament, and represented the Speaker. If invited guests failed to honour the invitation, then they would be guilty of contempt. He also warned the delegation not to mislead Parliament, as that was also a form of contempt.
Mr Majola listed the apologies of the Presidents of four provincial federations. Others were also absent but had sent deputies.
The Chairperson commented that cricket should be moving to match the nine political provinces in the country. They wished to enter debate on the issue of realignment. The South African Football Association was already moving in this direction. The negotiated settlement had outlived its time, and it was time to move towards a unitary
Presentation by Cricket
Adv Norman Arendse, President, CSA, said it was an honour and a privilege to be with the Committee. He had read the founding documents of CSA. In 1998 a transformation policy had been put in place. The government had been briefed on its contents and briefings had been held with the Committee, the Minister and the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC). There were no surprises, and CSA was willing to cooperate. They were here to account to Parliament. There were three aspects to the national Constitution, namely Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary. The Constitution had been incorporated into CSA’s constitution. In the past two weeks he had witnessed a breach of policy which threatened to undermine the organisation. There had been some dissension within CSA, which saddened him.
The Chairperson said he had seen newspaper posters that had said that Adv Arendse’s head must roll. He asked who wanted to dismiss the President.
Adv Arendse said that the Vice President of CSA, Mr Logan Naidoo, had returned from
He said that CSA was firm and clear on its transformation policy and team selection policy. Any grey areas would be decided by the President, who remained accountable to GenCo. It was not for un-elected people to make accusations.
Adv Arendse said that he had almost entirely anticipated what had happened recently. A meeting had been held early in the season on 7 August 2007, chaired by the Vice President (VP). The selectors and coach had been present, and the minutes had been recorded by the convenor of selectors. There was therefore no manipulation of the minutes. The policy and process regarding CSA team selection had been confirmed.
He said that some of this information had been leaked to the media on the afternoon of 9 February 2008. Mr Mark Smit of Business Day, who was not friendly towards CSA, had written an article the previous Friday. He had quoted from the minutes of 7 August.
Adv Arendse said that he had been presented with the squad to tour
He said that on 31 August 2007 the Management Committee had met. This comprised the President, VP, CEO and Treasurer. They had met with the coach, captain and convenor of selectors. The purpose of the meeting was to clear the lines of communication. They accepted that the team must reflect the diversity of the nation. The presidential veto would only be applied if the CSA policy had been ignored, or if the selectors were unable to offer an acceptable explanation for their selections. As President he was the custodian of CSA policy. Only then could the team be finalised. In some cases players had been told of their selection before the team had been confirmed by himself.
Adv Arendse said that Mr Joubert Strydom, the Convenor of Selectors, had stated that all selectors accepted the policy and procedure. They were committed to the policies as accepted by GenCo. A week after the meeting on 31 August, the coach had initiated a meeting in
He said that a special joint meeting had been held on 5 October 2007. The business of the meeting had included government structures, review of the franchises and selection policy. The policy had been in place since unity in 1991/92. The selectors, captain and coach reaffirmed their commitment to the policy. They recommitted themselves to CSA policy and procedure. The minutes had been recorded by the CEO’s personal assistant. There was a reference to the memorandum compiled by the South African Cricketers Association regarding their stance on quotas and the veto power. A resolution was taken that the status quo should remain. All issues regarding transformation were referred to the relevant committee. The transformation review committee had been established to deal with the issues. They were busy with their work, and had held their first meeting in early January 2008. They might be able to present a preliminary report at the GenCo meeting the forthcoming Friday.
Adv Arendse said that it was CSA’s responsibility to manage a national asset. They did this in a responsible way. People outside of GenCo had tended to disrespect procedure. Some unidentified person had provided information to the media. It might be a crisis, but the question was who had created it. He thought that it might have been critics who did not like the outcomes of CSA policy. He was committed to the CSA constitution and democratic process. The majority of GenCo members were black. Transformation targets had been set in 1998. At present, the 2008 target was still a modest seven for a touring team. He did not think this was unreasonable. Three of the five selectors were persons of colour, and he could not see why they could not reach this target. The policy and procedure was in place, although there was a grey area.
He said that at the end of the day the President was given a prominent role in terms of the agreed documents. People could criticise. Some persons involved in cricket were disloyal. Matters would be dealt with in a formal way. People were working at the grassroots level, and were investing large amounts of money and time in order to make the sport a success. Outsiders should not interfere. CSA was confident that it could manage the process. They should let cricketers decide what was good for the game.
Mr Naidoo said that CSA was not at the meeting to make excuses. They could have handled the situation better. The situation should never be repeated. All were on board and committed. CSA would do
The Chairperson said that he would invite two of the provinces to outline their policies. He asked how the players for the national team were recruited from the different provincial unions.
Adv Arendse said that it was carefully planned process. A squad system was in place that allowed for specialisation in the Test, 50-over and 20-over disciplines. By and large the system was working. There had been one blow-up, and this had been taken out of proportion to its significance. The situation had been dealt with badly, and a statement had been issued. Players were selected from the franchise teams, and there was a healthy pool of players of colour in these teams. There was much optimism of a more reflective team in the short term. The
Mr R Reid (ANC) commented on some statements made by the coach, Mr Mickey Arthur. He asked when his contract expired. He was unimpressed with Mr Arthur’s record, citing losses at the World Cup and Pro20 event. White players had been allowed to make demands, and were holding the union to ransom. The same situation applied in rugby. Unity had been achieved some fifteen years previously, but he could still count the number of black players on one hand. He thought there were only ten, of whom three were Africans. He mentioned the names of Makhaya Ntini and Monde Zondeki. He asked if the target would increase in the course of time. Players were selected from the franchise teams. He said that Sammy-Joe Avontuur (South Western Districts) scored a century in almost every match, but had not attracted the attention of the franchise selectors. It was time for cricket to sort its house out. When the President had referred the
Mr C Digkacwi (ANC) said that the World Cup had produced expensive lessons. When the DA administration had taken over in
He said that GenCo was the highest body. A meeting had been called by Mr Arthur. He asked if he had the power to call meetings. He was supposed to coach the team and guide them to successful performances. The selection of Paul Harris had denied a chance to Thandi Tshabalala, and he asked what had happened to this player. He had been selected once and then dropped. Zondeki had not been selected for
Mr B Solo (ANC) was worried about South African sport. On the question of transformation, the government had been given a mandate by the voters. Almost 60% of South Africans had voted in the last election. He could not offer a demographic breakdown of the ANC’s supporters in that election. There was a consistent pattern and he asked why the Committee was being so foolish. Looking at the provincial presidents present, he noted the number of black faces but asked where the same demographics were in the team. He recounted how he was barred from playing tennis while at school because of discrimination.
Mr T Louw (ANC) said that cricket was showing maturity in how it was dealing with the situation. Respect was needed. The Committee should give CSA the benefit of the doubt while it sorted out its own problems. He hoped that they were not whitewashing the problem, and not just saying things to placate the Committee. He said that there would be problems if a similar situation arose again.
The Chairperson said that they must understand what was being said. If the Board members of the Premier Soccer League paid themselves big bonuses as elected officials, the Committee would not keep quiet. They needed to understand the situation. The spat in cricket was an unprecedented event. The Committee needed to know what was happening. He wanted to be able to reassure the South African public that all was well.
Mr C Frolick (ANC) said that the fortunes of the team in
He said that cricket should be given the opportunity to take a time-out and sort out their issues internally. There was a dispute mechanism in terms of the Act. An internal process had to be followed before the Minister could intervene.
Mr Frolick said that leaders must be able to deal with conflict situations. They had called for a ceasefire in the media. They must not blame the media for the negative publicity, as someone had leaked the story to the media. CSA had to decide on a protocol. It was disheartening for the players to see the administrators on the front page while they were in the corner of the back page. Players should be given the limelight.
Mr Naidoo said that CSA accepted the threat in pushing Parliament too far. This was not their intent. The Committee must realise how the CEO and President had dealt with the crisis. Different viewpoints had been expressed on how to cherish the national treasure of the team. They were not wearing blinkers. Mr Arthur had made certain utterances containing some charges and allegations. The CEO would deal with this internally. They were not looking at charging him with misconduct. They should rather sit around a table and discuss the matter rather than let it escalate. White players had become part of the media focus, but in reality they were only protecting their interests. Black players were doing so as well. If there were more than seven players of colour in a squad, the players would want to know where they stood.
He said that they were thinking of ways to go forward. CSA was looking to the franchises to produce the seven players of colour needed to satisfy its transformation ideal. Each regional president was responsible for transformation in his province. The target was to have four players of colour on the field.
The Chairman said the term “quota” should not be used. Nobody wanted to say that the federations must apply a voluntary quota. Correct reporting was needed.
Mr Naidoo said that the target in the franchises was four. The President was the custodian of policy. The CEO was responsible for adherence to policy. Players would become demotivated if these targets were not met. At present, more than half the Under 19 and more than half of the
He said that it was a long process to develop a player. It was unfortunate when players were selected but injured. The coach had a plan as well, looking forward to the tour to
Mr Majola said that Mr Arthur’s contract was for two years, and would end next season.
Mr Mohammed Ebrahim, GenCo Member and President: Western Province Cricket Association, said that it was clear that not all constituents of CSA had embraced transformation. It was quite possible that some issues would continue to manifest themselves. The question that CSA faced was how to manage them.
Mr AK Khan, GenCo Member and President: KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Cricket, said that people sometimes needed prodding. Members of CSA were complacent. Seventeen years since unity the coach, captain and 80% of the players were white. There was nothing to show the world. Players like Zondeki, Charl Langeveldt and JP Duminy struggled to establish themselves while a player like AB de Villiers was shuffled up and down the batting order while trying to establish himself in the team. Tshabalala had been given a chance in
Mr Hlalele Molotsi, GenCo Member and VP: KZN Cricket) said that he was one of three African representatives. There was a question of representivity amongst the selectors. There were no Africans, and he saw this as a problem. In the franchise teams there were a minimum of four Black players. He was struggling to get support. He was 100% behind Adv Arendse. There was no compliance with earlier decisions.
Mr Mohammed Moosajee, Vice-Chairman, Gauteng Cricket Board, said that most unions had a transformation policy.
The Chairperson compared transformation to Affirmative Action (AA). Whites had been right on top in the past and Blacks had been rock bottom. The question was how to apply AA in sport. They should start with those who had been most seriously disadvantaged in the past.
Mr Moosajee said that there were four black and three coloured players in the
Mr Raymond Uren, GenCo Member,
The Chairperson said this was correct. Apartheid had distorted perceptions. This must go to the heart of policy. He enjoyed the Afrikaans term for AA, namely “regstellende aksie”.
Mr Vuyisile Mgadle, GenCo Member, Border, confirmed the policy of four players of colour in a franchise team. CSA needed assistance to enforce transformation. CSA wished to form a wide development structure, but government funding would be needed. Cricket would not be able to finance their far-reaching plans from their meagre resources.
Mr Peter Cyster, GenCo Member, Boland, said that constitutional protocols were in place. Players needed to have chances. If they were found lacking there would be some discomfort. There was a need to set the record straight.
Ms M Ntuli (ANC) welcomed the presentation. There was a need to touch on transformation and its meaning. The process should be from the bottom up. There was a futile exercise when players were selected but the same old faces took the field. They should not shy away from the meaning of the term Black. Blacks were still oppressed. On the sportsfield they were selected in squads but did not make the final team. She felt their pain. She wanted clarity if positions on terms were similar to the traditional leaders. CSA should not play a gatekeeper role. All talent should be exposed. Transformation must be applied at all levels. She asked what programmes were in place for all information to be seen. CSA should exercise its powers, and had a chance to lead the process. It would leave a legacy for future generations.
Mr T Lee (DA) said that sport, especially cricket, had an important place in society. He agreed that Parliament needed to prod CSA to effect change. He asked if the unions were creating new players. CSA should go to school levels. His question to the body was what it was doing at school level. It was supposed to identify talent, and this was not really being done. The players were there but they would never be identified and developed.
The Chairperson said that Mr Lee was correct about the infrastructure. He asked what the extent was to which potential at schools was being developed.
Mr Dikgacwi said that development at school level was happening. Players reached a certain level but were unable to advance from there. The same happened in rugby. The ceiling was closed. Black players were given one chance and then consigned to the dustbin. He agreed on the need to boost African players, but asked if the selectors were doing their job. Black selectors tended to forget where they came from and did not fight for the rights of fellow blacks. It was useless to have “coconuts” in positions of influence. The selectors should be recalled if they were not doing their jobs. He hoped the right decisions would be made at the GenCo meeting on the following Friday. He referred to the former convenor of selectors, Harold Lorgat, and said one needed a thick skin to survive in the job. He said that in the ANC policy, the party sought to improve the lot of blacks in general and Africans in particular.
Ms W Makgate (ANC) wished to return to a remark by the CSA VP. She asked why it was so difficult to replace injured players of colour. Self-introspection was needed, and she asked what CSA leadership was doing about it. Players of colour were not being developed, which led to this difficulty. CSA had to remember that it was serving the people of the country.
Mr Solo said that they needed to be clear. He took exception to some of Mr Lee’s comments. The ANC government had 75% support amongst the people, and needed respect. If the Chairperson had done him a favour by allowing him to speak despite his arriving late, then he needed to show respect for this also. During the development of the Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill they had gone to the
He mentioned the example of the Fort Beaufort Cricket Club in the
Mr Solo said that the categorisation of race groups was the brainchild of Dr HF Verwoerd, and his policy was now close to success. There were Black players in all parts of the country. He noted a lack of Indian players in
Mr Louw confirmed that there were black players. The DA wanted the status quo to remain. He was very tired of hearing this. Transformation was in place in provinces like
He said that CSA should implement the policies that it had. If the leadership was unable to do this it should resign. The leadership was encouraging the notion that there were no Black players. This was ammunition to the DA. Players must emerge from the structures, which had to complement the work of the President.
Mr Louw said it was clear that there was some secret society controlling white sport. Some people said there was a third force at work. These sinister forces were using the ANC’s people to push “distransformation”. This must stop. CSA must lead, implement and administer. This was their job to do. He proposed that the next interaction should only be with the Presidents of the different franchises. These were the culprits who were strangling transformation. They made the jobs of Adv Arendse and Mr Majola difficult.
The Chairperson invited the delegation to make short final comments.
Mr Majola said that there was a development plan in schools. Mr Uren was the chairman of the sub-committee that dealt with this issue.
The Chairperson said that the schools programme would enrich cricket. It needed to be made properly visible.
Adv Arendse said that a comprehensive approach was part of the new administration. The Amateur Board had been revived. Policy was being developed. There were difficulties at ground level. He was very aware of the necessity for a development programme, which would broaden the pool of Black players. The Minister had said that the focus must be on development. More funding would be needed from government.
Mr Naidoo said it the way the situation had been interpreted was unfortunate. CSA did not want embarrassment. Players had to be selected based on their ability, or else they would be demotivated. The franchises had to contract a minimum of four Black players. Numbers were not an issue. Players had to be developed to take the next step.
The Chairperson referred the delegates to the Government Gazette 30 47 6 dated 16 November 2007. The National Sport and Recreation Amendment Act of 2007 was published in that Gazette. Mr Frolick had referred to the new law. He asked what the difficulties were in implementing the Act. Afriforum and Freedom Front Plus had made complaints, as had rugby. He referred to Section 30 of the Act, which said that the federation must notify the Minister of an internal dispute. He did not think the dispute within CSA needed the intervention of the Minister. Cricket was not in a state of collapse. In terms of the Act, if a dispute was not resolved, any member of the body may submit it for consideration by a confederation such as SASCOC. Such a referral must go through all channels. Only then would the Minister give a directive.
He said there was a cross-reference to the origin of the mandate. There was a reference to the Constitution. There were guidelines for equity, redress and representivity. The Minister would issue these guidelines. These would change the Apartheid situation. Before 1 April each year each body had to submit its membership and statistics.
The Chairperson said that there was a mass participation fund for development. Cricket must show how it could develop. All federations without a development plan would be liable to pay 45% in tax on their earnings. This would serve as incentives for other bodies.
He said that cricket must make sure it did not follow a policy of inheritance. Heredity could not be an issue. The fact that a player’s father or grandfather had played for
He looked at Under 19 teams in all federations. They enjoyed success at junior World Cup level. Eighty percent of the teams were Black, but the White players went on to represent the country at senior level while the Black players disappeared. It was unfair to these Black players that they were only developed to a certain point. The Committee would never keep quiet on this issue. It was a question of the first economy. White boys got contracts with professional teams and felt entitled to this. This was not the case with black boys, who had to remain on the periphery of the third economy. Sections of the country were not entitled to advancement.
The Chairperson said that the country should be built through unity in sport. All the people had celebrated the victory at the Rugby World Cup. This did not change the desire to see transformation. All must feel accommodated. Transformation should build social cohesion, and help the nation come together
He said that some people felt that White people were arrogant. The actions of a section of the community were leading people to regret the reconciliation process. People were saying that there should be no politics in sport, but this would always be the case. The government felt the need to appoint a Minister to run sport. He would not fold his arms and watch sport collapse. A universal buy-in was needed, but this was not happening. A point of no return had been reached. All citizens must now show that they were a part of the new
The Chairperson said that he could see certain trends in all federations. Of the Premier Soccer League coaches, 80% were white. It was the same with selectors. Transformation had to go deeper than the number of players on the field, but had to be part of administration and the governance of federations. It could not be just cosmetic. People might not like each other, but had to respect each others’ views and live together. Cricket was facing an awkward situation.
He said that a concerted effort was being mounted to attack transformation. This was seen in the newspaper headlines. Attacks were being made on black people and their integrity. The substance of a person was being determined by his or her colour. Transformation was non-negotiable.
The Chairperson said that the question of infrastructure had been discussed at the ANC conference. Sport at school would be revived, especially the popular Wednesday games. Human movement would be re-introduced to the curriculum. The Municipal Infrastructure Grant funds allocated for sport would now be channelled directly to the Department of Sport and Recreation. In the past, the Department had built 144 new basic facilities before the funds had been recalled. After that change of policy, nothing had been built for the last three years. Some schools still had no playing fields, and had to share facilities.
He said that the spat seen in cricket recently must never happen again. He could never accept what he saw as a mutiny by the players. Their contracts should be terminated immediately. He would never support these players. They should rather be replaced by better and more subservient players. CSA should give these players clearance to go immediately. He summarised that CSA were the custodians of the game. The question of transformation lay with GenCo.
The meeting was adjourned.
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