It was an interesting day for CEOs of Cricket South Africa both past and present on Tuesday as the fired Thabang Moroe saw his plot to return to office delayed in the Labour Court and the acting incumbent, Kugandrie Govender, suffered the embarrassment of the organisation backtracking on her statement that white consultants would no longer be used unless there were exceptional circumstances.
Moroe approached the Labour Court on Tuesday to have his dismissal set aside because he believes the disciplinary process was unlawful, but he first of all had to convince the court that his application was urgent. CSA's lawyers argued that the matter was not urgent and the court reserved judgement as to whether the matter should be held urgently or not. The court is expected to make its decision during the week.
Govender stated last week in a text message to Sport24 that following a meeting with the minister of sport, Nathi Mthethwa, CSA "are now required to enforce black consultants only until such time as the numbers are moving in the right direction and we can then revise this. It's an internal measure to enforce that the change that should have happened organically over the years but didn't, does actually now happen".
The announcement created a storm of protest, with civil rights lobby group AfriForum threatening legal action against CSA and the Institute for Race Relations writing to the International Cricket Council to report the organisation for failing to respect the governing body's constitution in terms of racial discrimination and political interference.
CSA issued a statement on Tuesday saying they were saddened by the media reports around their use of consultants. They called the stories "factually incorrect" even though they were quoting their own CEO verbatim.
"CSA has not taken and will not take a decision to work exclusively with black consultants. The media reports around the statements made by our Acting Chief Executive are not a correct reflection of the sentiment that CSA had sought to convey. CSA therefore reiterates that it does not have a policy of excluding any racial grouping.
"As part of our corporate business model, CSA has adopted and subscribes to the country's BBBEE Act and Affirmative Action policy. This means CSA has a moral and legal obligation to implement these two prescripts, while still embracing the need for all South Africans to live their cricketing dreams regardless of background, culture or ethnicity, and this includes the services that we procure from external service providers," their statement said.
CSA went on to say transformation is a pillar for the organisation.
"It is, therefore, imperative that we constantly remind ourselves of its (transformation) importance in the way in which we conduct our business. As a democratic and non-racial institution, CSA is well aware of the need to provide equality and quality of opportunity to all and we do also emphasise that this has to be seen in the context of our unhappy history that for more than a century deprived the majority of our population from living their cricket dreams both on the field of play and in many other areas."
The change of stance by CSA will now obviously attract the attention of Minister Mthethwa, who has been critical of the number of white faces in prominent positions at CSA. It is believed using exclusively black consultants unless there are none available at the level required in order to keep the Proteas at the top end of the world rankings is exactly what CSA promised Mthethwa at their meeting last week.
It is also a loss of face for Govender, whose meteoric rise at CSA saw her appointed acting CEO on August 19 after Jacques Faul stepped down.
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