JOHANNESBURG: Acting president Beresford Williams and five other Cricket South Africa (CSA) board members resigned on Sunday, two days ahead of a deadline threatening intervention from the country’s sports minister.
The resignations were announced in a series of tweets on CSA’s official Twitter account.
The organisation has been in disarray since chief executive Thabang Moroe was suspended last December, prompting calls from the country’s players’ association and major sponsors for the board to resign.
Board members Angelo Carolissen, Tebogo Siko, John Mogodi and Donavan May also resigned on Sunday.
Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa threatened on Oct 14 to intervene directly in CSA’s affairs unless CSA provided him with reasons in writing why he should not get involved.
He set a deadline of Oct 27. Government interference would put CSA at risk of sanctions from the International Cricket Council.
Sunday’s resignations are likely to lead to the formation of an interim committee.
The latest move comes less than a month before a limited overs series against World Cup champions England.
Williams was made acting president following the resignation of Chris Nenzani in August.
According to CSA’s tweet: “Mr Williams is deeply passionate about cricket and because of his love for the game he has resigned because this is the best way he can currently serve cricket.”
CSA thanked Williams for his ‘loyalty and dedicated service’.
In separate tweets, the resignation of four other non-independent board members and one independent board member were announced.
The resignations followed meetings of CSA’s Members’ Council, the overall policy-making body of CSA from which non-independent board members are elected.
The four non-independent directors stated they were resigning only from the board and would remain on the Members’ Council, while Williams resigned from both bodies.
The resignations meant that only one non-independent and three independent directors remained on the board. It was not clear whether more resignations would follow.
In a statement following the tweets, the Members’ Council confirmed the resignations of the non-independent directors and announced that Rihan Richards had been made acting president of the council. The statement did not mention the resignation of the independent director, Dheven Dharmalingam.
The CSA members’ council met on Thursday to discuss strategies to solve the crisis following the sports minister’s ultimatum.
“One of these approaches was that if the Board would need to step down for the best interest of CSA and cricket as a whole, the Board would then do so,” CSA said.
“CSA thanks them for their dedication, commitment and service to CSA and wishes them well in their future endeavours,” Richards said of the departing members.
There was no immediate reaction from the sports ministry.
Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2020