Controversial Cricket South Africa independent director Dr Eugenia Kula-Ameyaw's tweet which appeared to threaten sponsors, Momentum, has landed her in hot water with the sports federation, who have apologised to the financial services provider, distancing themselves from her statement and reporting her to their Social and Ethics Committee.
Momentum announced on Tuesday that they will not renew their sponsorship of men's one-day cricket with CSA next April, but will honour their contract as title sponsors of the national women's side through to April 2023. Kula-Ameyaw then sent out a tweet on Tuesday night saying: "Momentum forgets that we invest hundreds millions in Momentum in our SOE investments and pension funds. I remember asking for the BBBEE certificate in my other board. Just check before you make any irrational decision."
Kula-Ameyaw erred in casting aspersions about Momentum's transformation credentials because they have had Level I B-BBEE status for the last two years. And her antagonistic approach to sponsors could be seriously damaging to CSA as they desperately try and find new backers during these tough economic times. Given the Board's existing lack of credibility and now this social media blunder by someone who is tipped to become the Lead Independent Director, even though she was only appointed to the Board on an interim basis in May, more current and prospective sponsors are likely to say getting involved in cricket is not their cup of tea.
"CSA sincerely apologises to Momentum for the unfortunate and unwarranted tweets made by one of our Board members, in her personal capacity. CSA wishes to reiterate that Dr Eugenia Kula-Ameyaw did not act in her professional position as a non-executive board member of CSA. While we respect the personal views of all South Africans, CSA wishes to distance itself from the articulations made by Dr Kula-Ameyaw on Twitter.
"We further wish to reiterate that CSA does not ascribe to the views expressed regarding Momentum and we sincerely value the benefits Momentum and all our sponsors bring in making cricket accessible and inclusive for all South Africans. We thank Momentum for the substantial contributions they have made towards cricket upliftment and the milestones we achieved through their sponsorship," acting CSA president Beresford Williams said in a statement released on Wednesday.
The CSA Members Council, which has been flexing its muscles against the Board of late, has also reported Kula-Ameyaw's behaviour to the Social and Ethics Committee.
"CSA is taking this matter very seriously and in light of the reputational damage potentially caused, CSA's Members' Council has referred the matter to the Social and Ethics Committee and once all internal processes have been completed, the necessary corrective action will be taken," the statement said.
Momentum were also baffled by Kula-Ameyaw's jibe at their transformation efforts.
"We're not exactly sure what Dr Kula-Ameyaw meant by the comment, since we have been working really hard to transform as a company. We achieved Level 1 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment status two years ago, and have retained this status. Our B-BBEE certificate is available on our website.
"In spite of the comment, we are not reconsidering our relationship with CSA. We look forward to continuing our support of the Momentum Proteas national women's team on their journey to success," Head of Sponsorships, Carel Bosman, said.
Kula-Ameyaw has also in the last week on Twitter accused critics of "brown envelope tendencies", praised the EFF and seemed to indicate she wielded "power" by interfering in selection matters.
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