Yet more legal action against Cricket South Africa

Despite facing a financial crisis in the next 2-3 years Cricket South Africa continues to pick fights with some of its most important stakeholders and the legal bills are mounting.

The Western Province Cricket Association is the latest organization to take the governing body to court after, it claims, being unlawfully placed under administration two weeks ago.

The WPCA filed an urgent interdict in the Johannesburg High Court this week to overturn CSA’s imposition of Professor Andre Odendaal as an administrator to oversee the day-to-day running of the Association he was chief executive of for over a decade. The WPCA is also seeking to overturn the suspension of its president, Advocate Nick Kock, and the rest of the board.

This follows the legal action taken by the SA Cricketers Association two months ago to overturn CSA’s decision to disband the domestic franchise structure and return to a provincial system with 12 teams in the first-class structure and up to 14 in the limited overs competitions.

Like the WPCA, SACA claims it had no consultation from CSA despite being legally obliged to do so in terms of the MOU which exists between the players and the governing body. SACA intends to intensify its legal action in the South Johannesburg High Court next week

A statement from the WPCA on Saturday read:

“The 13-member Western Province Cricket Association’s (WPCA) Executive Board has launched an urgent Court application in the Johannesburg High Court to immediately interdict Cricket South Africa (CSA) from implementing or executing upon what WPCA considers to be an unlawful decision taken by CSA to exercise step in rights in respect of WPCA.

This follows the “step-in” rights exercised by CSA on the 20th of September which saw it  appointing a temporary administrator.

This court application challenges the steps taken by CSA on the basis that CSA has allegedly:

–          no right or entitlement to exercise step-in rights over a self-standing voluntary association, being WPCA;

–          not complied with the provisions of its own Memorandum of Incorporation;

–          did not afford WPCA a hearing prior to taking the impugned decision; and

–          took the decision based on an incorrect and inaccurate factual basis.

As such the WPCA is seeking relief from the High Court interdicting the CSA and/or its administrator from exercising any rights in terms of the so-called step-in notice, as well as any of the powers and functions that are vested in WPCA and its board members in terms of the latter’s constitution.

While having instituted this Court application, WPCA remains committed to pursuing a mediation process in respect of the step-in decision taken by CSA.”

Whether CSA successfully defends its behaviour in court, or not, is largely irrelevant. The real point is that neither the players nor the custodians of Newlands wanted a fight. They have nothing to gain (and a lot to lose) by resorting to legal action against the mother body. But they believed they had no choice.

It is a desperate state affairs which illustrates how out of touch the CSA directors are with the people who matter most.

The strongest and most effective leaders do not win conflicts. They avoid them.

 

 

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