Pivotal weeks ahead for CSA as Moroe investigation nears end

Moroe was suspended in December 2019 pending the outcome of an independent forensic investigation into management practices at CSA.

FILE: Cricket South Africa CEO Thabang Moroe. Picture: @OfficialCSA/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Cricket South Africa president, Chris Nenzani, has confirmed that the first part of the independent forensic audit as well as the investigation into suspended CEO Thabang Moroe is expected by the end of the week.

Moroe was suspended in December 2019 pending the outcome of an independent forensic investigation into management practices at CSA.

Nenzani provided some insight as to why the matter has been delayed.

“Unfortunately, the forensic investigation did not start at the time we hoped. If you follow the sequence of events, we made the announcement on December 7 last year, but actually the forensic audit company was appointed towards the end of February and started work only in March”, he said.

“This was not by design, it was because of the processes we needed to go through needed to be very elaborate and conclusive because the appointment of this investigation did not reside with the board, but with the members council, the 14 provincial presidents,” he said.

“The simple reason for that is because we said in the scope of the investigation, it must also look into the decision making within the board itself. Therefore, the members council had to be the appointing authority in this instance and that together with a few other matters, like the experience of the lockdown, would have delayed things”, he said.

He admitted that CSA had experienced challenges over the past few months but stood by comments he made in December, backing the board's decision to stay on during a time of “crisis”.

“The board took a view that it would be unwise for it to resign and sort of run away from the challenges that were facing the organisation,” he said. Those challenges included the suspension of Moroe as well as Standard Bank pulling out of its lucrative sponsorship deal as a result.

“You needed the board to take responsibility and fix the challenges and problems that are facing the organisation. That is what we are doing and what we continue to do. It would have been an easy way out for the board to identify the problems and then run away,” he said.

While Nenzani delivered that message with confidence, he was less assured when speaking about his own future and his own decisions.

“When the members council asked me to stay on for an additional year when my term came to an end, I agreed. Looking back, I regret taking that decision, but it is because of how I view leadership that I stayed on. To me election to an office or election to a position is an obligation to serve the people who elect you,” he said.

To add to the issues surrounding the organisation, the South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) had expressed its dissatisfaction by the delay with the Moroe matter and Nenzani offered reassurances to them and other CSA stakeholders.

“Our relationship with SACA is very important to us because it’s a relationship of necessity, it’s a mutually beneficial relationship and therefore it is important to us that at any given point in time we strive to make that relationship work. We understand their unhappiness on certain matters, but I think there are very few people that would have wanted us to flout procedures,” he said.

While admitting that the last year has been tough for the governing body, Nenzani also added that things were looking positive for CSA and praised acting Chief Executive Dr. Jacques Faul and Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith for their efforts over the past six months.

“Compared to the crisis we had to endure at the end of last year I am able to report that we have moved forward to a much stronger position,” he concluded. “On Wednesday we will be announcing three new sponsors and there is a major fourth deal involving an international sponsor that will also be announced shortly”.

“All these contracts have been signed and I believe it represents outstanding work by our Acting CEO and staff that they have managed to secure these contracts in the current financial climate,” he said.