Confusion and uncertainty surround the eagerly awaited Gauteng Cricket Board’s (GCB’s) annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Thursday.
This year’s meeting signals the end of the six-year period proposed by Justice Pius Langa for racial voting blocs to be entrenched on the board.
It was hoped by many Gauteng clubs that such blocks could be dispensed of directly after this year’s meeting, but the waters have been muddied by interference from Cricket SA (CSA). Now, retired Judge Bernard Ngoepe has been appointed to look into whether Langa’s recommendations should be extended. With respect to the meeting, this means that the memorandum of incorporation which governs the composition of the board has been removed as an agenda item.
Rapport understands that reports from the chief executive, the president and the treasurer will be presented, but there will be no post-Langa election of a new board.
“Let’s have a clean sweep’ is quite a strong feeling from the more prosperous clubs – let’s dispense with the interest groups,” said a club chairperson on condition of anonymity. “Let’s clean the slate. If guys want to stand for re-election, let them.”
This, however, won’t happen until Ngoepe, the head of CSA’s investigative unit, is finished his work – and he has no idea when this will be or even when he will start.
“It depends how quickly people are able to identify the issues,” said Ngoepe. “I might adjudicate, mediate or arbitrate – it’s just too early to tell.”
CSA only recently appeared to become interested in the post-Langa period at the GCB, leading some to speculate that there could be an ulterior motive for delaying the abolition of racial voting blocs.
Letters have been exchanged between Thabang Moroe, the chief executive of CSA, and Greg Fredericks, the chief executive of the GCB, with three meetings taking place between the parties. In a recent letter to CSA, Fredericks asked whether Moroe had board approval for his intervention.
In a letter dated July 24, which is in Rapport’s possession, he asked: “If this issue was not discussed at the CSA board meeting on July 20, on the basis of what authority was the letter dated July 23 addressed?”
Moroe appears to have sidestepped the issue, answering it by calling in Ngoepe, who was involved “in making sure the [CSA] investigation into match-fixing [in 2016] was legit”.
One of the possible implications of Langa’s recommendations coming to an end is that those who owe their positions to his proposals have much to lose after this year’s GCB meeting. One such individual is GCB president Jack Madiseng, who, were he to lose his presidency at the GCB under a new dispensation after Langa, would also lose his position on the CSA board.
If, however, the status quo remains at the GCB until the CSA AGM on September 7 because Ngoepe hasn’t completed his work, Madiseng has nothing to fear and his path to what many believe will be the CSA presidency will have been smoothed.
CSA and the GCB were approached for comment about this and other matters, but did not respond.
It is ironic that CSA appears keen to extend the six-year period proposed by Langa, because the CSA forced Langa on a very different board at the GCB in the wake of Gerald Majola’s double-bonus scandal in the years after South Africa’s hosting of the 2009 Indian Premier League. The heat on Majola to disclose his undeclared bonuses came almost exclusively from those in Gauteng, including his then CSA president, Mtutuzeli Nyoka.
The Langa report was a transparent attempt to hobble Nyoka and others at the union from asking awkward questions. Majola eventually left CSA under a cloud, while Langa’s recommendations – despite the questionable motives that gave rise to them – saddled the GCB with another set of problems.
Former GCB lead independent director Fagmeedah Petersen-Cook said last year: “In my role as lead independent, I was very keen on fast-tracking the removal of the Langa recommendations. They were very divisive – and that very often suited the black members.”