South Africa’s Olympic body has tried to refute evidence that its self-imposed involvement in CSA’s affairs amounts to unacceptable interference – which could lead the ICC to suspend the country’s national teams.
In a letter to the ICC dated Saturday, which Cricbuzz has seen, the acting president of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), Aleck Skhosana, writes, “At no stage does or did SASCOC act under the direction or control of the minister of sport in the country [Nathi Mthethwa], or the government of the republic of South Africa. Accordingly, SASCOC rejects any allegation or insinuation that the SASCOC intervention constitutes government interference.”That directly contradicts a resolution taken at a SASCOC board meeting on Monday, which states plainly: “The concerns with regard to the administration of the sport in the country relate, inter-alia, to the following issues of concern, namely…the directive by the minister of sport and recreation for SASCOC to intervene into the affairs of CSA.”
SASCOC is not a government organisation. But all of the country’s sport federations, including CSA, are compelled by law to be members of SASCOC and can be put under administration by it. By law, no rivals to SASCOC are allowed. Thus, without SASCOC’s approval players and teams would not officially represent South Africa and could not compete wearing the Protea badge or national colours.That cricket in South Africa is in trouble on almost every front is undeniable. But whether the ICC will accept SASCOC’s action as legitimate remains to be seen. The ICC constitution says a member is obliged to “manage its affairs autonomously and ensure that there is no government (or other public or quasi-public body) interference in its governance, regulation and/or administration of cricket in its cricket playing country (including in operational matters, in the selection and management of teams, and in the appointment of coaches or support personnel)”.So what is perceived as interference doesn’t necessarily need to come expressly from government for an ICC member to be in water hot enough to prompt suspension.