Drama as Cricket SA acting president is asked to leave parliamentary presentation

Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) presentation in parliament on Tuesday started on a dramatic note after acting president Beresford Williams was asked to leave the virtual session as he is implicated in the forensic report that the organisation was to present.

CSA company secretary Welsh Gwaza was also asked to recuse himself after the members of parliament flagged him for apparent unbecoming conduct in handling and facilitating the handing over of the forensic report from Fundudzi Forensic Services‚ a company contracted in March to look into board and management practices at the organisation over the past four years.

But CSA denied Gwaza was involved in the handling and facilitating of the handing over of the forensic report from Fundudzi.

“CSA would like to categorically state that Company Secretary‚ Mr Welsh Gwaza was not involved in the handling and facilitating the handing over of the forensic report from Fundudzi Forensic Services nor was he given a copy of the report. In fact what he was requested to do‚ was to obtain the necessary resolutions to release the document.

“CSA believes that it is interest of the public to put this matter in perspective and provide these substantive facts as not doing so could be prejudicial on the character of Mr Gwaza and put an irreparable blemish on his image‚” the organisation said.

The presentation had hardly begun when members of the portfolio committee for sport‚ arts and culture asked that anyone who is implicated or whose name is mentioned in the forensic report leave the meeting.

CSA independent board member Marius Schoeman defended the board’s refusal to step down in its entirety and said the conflict of interest against Williams was reported to the members’ council‚ the organisation’s highest decision-making body made up of the 12 provincial presidents‚ including the president and vice-president.

“The conflict against the acting president Mr Williams was reported to the members’ council and the members decided that‚ while his matter was considered serious‚ the members decided that Mr Williams should not step down‚” Schoeman told members of the portfolio committee.

Williams is one of four CSA nominees vying for the presidency of the organisation at its elective AGM on December 5‚ despite the conflict of interest confirmed in the summary forensic report regarding a R5m loan to the Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA)‚ a union where he was the president of.

TimesLIVE reported in July that Williams was involved in a conflict of interest involving him and former CSA board member and chairman of the finance committee Iqbal Khan.

A summary forensic report released by CSA to the public and media last week confirmed that Fundudzi Forensic Services‚ a company contracted in March‚ found that Williams was indeed conflicted along with former board member Khan.

The complaint alleged that Williams‚ who was then CSA vice-president‚ was conflicted in a partnership deal concluded with the WPCA for the infrastructure development at Newlands in Cape Town.

The complaint also involved WPCA independent director Mustaq Brey‚ who resigned in July.

Khan resigned as an independent director in December‚ while Brey resigned from his independent directorship role at the WPCA seven months later.

– TimesLIVE

Source: ARENA Holdings.