The South African Cricketers’ Association – the national players’ union – is mulling the possibility of taking legal action under the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to ensure Cricket South Africa releases the forensic report that led to the dismissal of former CEO Thabang Moroe, SACA chief executive Andrew Breetzke revealed on Wednesday.
CSA postponed its AGM scheduled for September 5 as, among other reasons, there were unresolved issues arising from the Fundudzi forensic report into Moroe.
Having delayed elections, the CSA members council was optimistic that it would finally be allowed to study the outcome of the report it instituted, with relaxed conditions, but it seemed this was not the case.
With the secrecy behind the report seemingly leading to growing frustration among the cricket-loving public and other stakeholders, speculation had become rife that the report also implicated board members and company secretary Welsh Gwaza in allegations of misgovernance.
Speaking during a Daily Maverick webinar on Wednesday, both Breetzke and governance expert Judith February, a lawyer based at the Institute for Security Studies, called on the CSA members council to demand its right to see the report was respected, failing which SACA would need to launch legal action.
“In December/January there was already enough information for a proper investigation but everything was linked to the forensic report, which was a mistake. They could have dealt with Thabang Moroe back then and South African cricket would have been in a better position now,” Breetzke said.
“What our cricket desperately needs now is certainty and consistency as we move into a very difficult time for the game.
“We have formally asked CSA in the past to release the report, but obviously that has not happened. We are stakeholders in that report because of the breakdown in CSA’s relationship with SACA, and if it is not forthcoming in the next two to three weeks then we will have to go the legal route and apply under PAIA.
“There will be no peace in South African cricket until that report comes out.”
February, meanwhile, shared similar concerns.
“CSA don’t seem to understand that they operate in a democracy. They appear to be tone-deaf to the fact that the public have a stake in the game,” said the former head of IDASA’s governance programme.
“At the moment it feels like the public is totally disregarded, and CSA have a lot of work to do to restore their faith. When an organisation is very badly managed and has the wrong people in power, people who abuse power and mismanage finances, then it leads to a forensic report.
“The Members Council commissioned that report and it is bizarre that it is being kept secret. Because it is being so closely guarded, we can only assume that it implicates others.
“But that report will come out because we live in a democracy and the public, the players and the stakeholders in the game have the right to know.”