The CSA’s interim council has confirmed the removal of Omphile Ramela, one of its two members. But a defiant Ramela is convinced he remains part of the council.
The episode will certainly add to the growing international dismay over the state of the game’s administration in South Africa, which was suspended by the CSA’s interim executive director and company secretary, and England dropped out of the tournament. white prom men because of Covid’s fears. And that’s only since December 1st.
“It was not an easy decision, but the interim council had no choice but to do so,” a CSA statement explaining Ramela’s fate said on Tuesday (December 15th), adding that neither he nor his lawyer attended the hearing. in which the decision was taken and did not even respond to notifications about the meeting.
“The council decided unanimously [with one abstention] that Mr Omphile Ramela, who did not show up to give any reason why he should not be removed, is being removed as a director on the CSA interim board, “the statement said.
Asked for comments, Ramela told Cricbuzz: “I am still very much the director and member of the CSA interim council. No authorized staff and no structure removed me from the board, so there is absolutely nothing to dispute about my leadership.
“Yes, some members of the interim board have tried to hold the organization hostage, including blocking some of us from board meetings. But they will be dealt with soon. I remain director and continue with my work.”
Ramela resigned as chairman of the South African Cricketers Association to serve on the board, which was appointed on November 17 after the elected council – which chaired more than three years of mismanagement – resigned. pressure, including from the government.
But it seems that Ramela and the interim council could not enter. His recusal, along with that of Xolani Vonya, was reported on Wednesday, and Zak Yacoob, the former judge of the constitutional court who chairs the board, presented it to Ramela at Thursday’s online press conference: , defends the indefensible, practically refusing to accept the majority. He seems to make a distinction between what is right and the decisions of the majority and, if he considers that the decisions of the majority are wrong, he can continue to fight for them for hours.
“He doesn’t have the discipline to accept the decisions of the majority. He was obstructive in relation to every difficult decision we had to make and it was practically impossible to deal with him. In a period of three months [the length of the board’s appointment], if the meetings last for hours, to deal with obstructive people who continue to say that they do not understand this and do not understand that when things are fully explained, then the council will not be able to finish its work. We considered that the chance to finish our work was considerably diminished by these obstructive tactics. I suspect that the obstructive tactics were designed specifically to support the picture, so that we can do very little in the three months.
“I spent two hours talking about whether he would accept the majority rule. He says that when he says things are right, they’re right. And so everyone has to listen to him. He’s a young man. He thinks every word that out of his mouth is the biblical truth and if someone starts to disagree with a word, he says you are greeted with great anger. “
Vonya was withdrawn following serious allegations against her by Easterns Cricket, the CSA provincial affiliate whose chairman she was before joining the council. Easterns suspended him in May. He was reinstated pending an investigation and resigned in October. He is believed to be seeking legal advice on the actions taken against him by the interim council.
Of the remaining seven board members, only Andre Odendaal and Haroon Lorgat, former directors of the Western Province Cricket Association and CSA, have records as cricket administrators. Asked if Ramela and Vonya will be replaced, Yacoob said: “We will try to agree on replacements with the members’ council (nominally the highest authority of the CSA). If not, the seven of us will simply continue. We will not waste our time. with secondary problems. “
Cricket can afford such inappropriate quarrels, especially the day after the announcement that Kugandrie Govender had been suspended as CSA’s executive director and commercial director. This followed England to go home on Thursday due to positive tests for the virus, with half of the six matches played, which was preceded by the suspension of CSA company secretary Welsh Gwaza on December 1st.
Individually, some of these developments will be considered positive. Collectively, they paint a picture of chaos. Neither the public, sponsors nor sports minister Nathi Mthethwa – whose intervention led to the appointment of the interim council – will want this. But it seems that things need to get worse before there is any hope of improvement. How bad is a question that no one dared to ask.