Cricket South Africa’s Members Council might not yet quite be the beacons of good governance all lovers of the sport hope they become, but Wednesday night’s continuation of their AGM was an efficient 20-minute process in which they accepted Advocate Norman Arendse as an independent director and voted for all four members of the crucial Audit, Governance and Risk Committee to be independent directors as well.
The Members Council’s unanimous dissatisfaction with Arendse, a former president and lead independent director of CSA, was one of the flashpoints during the first sitting of the AGM last weekend.
The Nominations Committee agreed to reconsider but came back with the advocate as the best candidate.
Given that CSA’s new Memorandum of Incorporation makes it quite clear that the Nominations Committee have the final say, the Members Council wisely put up no resistance on Wednesday night.
The 63-year-old Arendse has been a controversial figure, attracting criticism for his continued interference in the selection of the national team and a brusque manner that has been described as bullying, and is not held in any particular fondness by the players.
With memories still fresh of how CSA’s previous Audit and Risk Committee failed so dismally to deal with the malfeasance and impropriety laid bare in the Fundudzi Report, it was pleasing to see the Members Council ensure this crucial body will be totally independent.
Seasoned governance and procurement expert Dr Lawson Naidoo will chair the committee, with Steven Budlender SC, a silk who has made his name in public interest litigation, Simo Lushaba, a leading figure from the Institute of Directors and governance expert who has sat on and chaired numerous boards, and Mark Rayner, the former CEO of MultiChoice, the other members.