Cricket South Africa (CSA) finally released a summary of the Fundudzi Report which revealed serious allegations of mismanagement by former chief executive Thabang Moroe.
Judging by the summary of the Fundudzi Forensic Report released by Cricket South Africa on Monday, it would seem dismissed CEO Thabang Moroe failed to “act with the degree of care, skill and diligence that may reasonably be expected” on an almost daily basis, while the report exposed just how shambolic the running of the game had become under his watch and that of the federation’s board.
CSA fired Moroe with immediate effect last month following an eight-month long fully paid suspension. Moroe has since deemed his dismissal unlawful and has approached the Labour Court.
The latest revelations will only intensify these proceedings with the Fundudzi Report alleging that Moroe was guilty of failing to follow procurement processes, excessive alcohol purchases in the region of R275 000 and overstepping boundaries in the involvement of affiliates.
Cricket SA have been hesitant to release the summary of the Fundudzi Report, which was compiled by their law firm Bowmans. However, the embattled organisation have been under pressure from Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Sascoc and various other stakeholders including the media.
“Following requests from the Ministry of Sports, Art and Culture, South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), members of the media, and concerns from sponsors and employees about the contents of the Fundudzi Forensic Report, CSA has, with legal counsel, decided to make a summary forensic report available to all stakeholders, including cricket-loving members of the public, via the media and other distribution channels,” said. Members’ Council representative John Mogodi
“The full forensic report was made available to the CSA Members Council for inspection, subject to certain conditions related to confidentiality, including the execution of non-disclosure agreements, in line with the protection of the organisation.
“In the interest of cricket and to mend relationships, CSA’s Members Council, unanimously agreed to make the summary Forensic Report available to all stakeholders, including the Board of CSA and its executives, and thereafter to all interested stakeholders including members of the media. Importantly, the summary of all findings and recommendations is a direct extract from the Fundudzi Report and has not been amended by CSA’s lawyers, save for the matters detailed below.”
Some of the most damning findings were that Moroe allegedly: Failed to follow procurement processes in the appointment of Service Provider and Failed to act in the best interest of CSA in terms of Section 76(3)(b) of the Companies in that he caused CSA to pay Service Provider R3 019 244.82 without following Procurement Policies and Procedures.
As a result, Fundudzi recommended that CSA consider: Registering a criminal case in terms of Section 34 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004. Obtain legal advice regarding the desirability to institute legal action to recover funds paid to Service Provider; in view of no evidence of delivery of services.
Moroe was also held accountable for withholding information prior to exercising step-in rights at Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) and North West Cricket (NWC).
CSA were dealt a heavy blow after they were held liable for the R565 000 legal costs after WPCA had won its arbitration case for being wrongfully placed under administration.
The Fundudzi Report alleged that the WPCA affair “could have been avoided had he exercised due care, skill and diligence as expected of a director”.
Moroe was also held accountable for his involvement with the revoking of five journalists’ accreditation and the failure to pay the South African Cricketers Association on time.
With Moroe no longer part of CSA, the organisation is now responsible to institute actions on the findings with the legal help of Bowman’s before the annual general meeting, which has been rescheduled for 5 December.
Mogodi made it clear that CSA is serious in ridding the organisation of fraud and corruption and will be using the legal advice of Bowman’s to construct a road map for a better way forward. He also emphasised, as stated in the report findings, that a better structure of the CSA board is important for the future.
‘Although the forensic report is not a court judgement, and the findings and conclusions therein have not been tested, CSA takes the Fundudzi report recommendations and Bowman’s Attorneys’ reiteration, very seriously.
‘The members council is confident in the board’s ability to effectively address the challenges and to focus on protecting the long-term sustainability of Cricket South Africa,’ added Mogodi.
The 20 main themes from the report:
1. Revocation of media accreditation
2. Relationship with Saca
3. Allegations of non-responsiveness by CSA
4. Appointment of ‘Service Provider X’
5. Step-in rights at WPCA
6. Step-in rights at NWC
7. Framework agreement entered into between GSC and CSA
8. Production agreement entered into between GSC and CSA
9. Expenditures relating to CSA credit cards
10. Extending loans to affiliates/unions
11. Effectiveness of internal controls
12. Examining payments related to tax and VAT liability
13. Structure of the board
14. Fraud detection and prevention
15. Value-in-kind sponsorships
16. Organisational design
17. Appointment of Chantel Moon as head of HR
18. Reviewing policies
19. Review of key procurement contracts
20. NSA Vulindlela agreements.
A summary of the Fundudzi forensic report paints a picture of Cricket South Africa as a more deeply dysfunctional organisation than we’ve ever imagined, writes Ryan Vrede.
And this was a summary. I get chills thinking about what degree of corporate incompetence and maladministration is detailed in the full report, which was presumably withheld from the public because of CSA’s potential legal exposure.
The report paints the picture of former CEO Thabang Moroe as the villain of this awful soap opera. It contains many allegations against him, including:
– That he spent nearly R65 000 on alcohol using a CSA-issued credit card.
Was at the heart of revoking the media accreditation of five of the country’s most senior and respected journalists (presumably because he simply didn’t like what they were writing).
– Dragged his heels in signing off the players’ payments – totaling nearly R3 million – due for the 2018 Mnzanzi Super League (it was invoiced for in February 2019 but only paid 10 months later)
– A clutch of situations where he simply ignored correspondence on important matters.
Being deemed responsible for CSA having to pay ‘Service Provider X’ nearly R3 million despite not following the procurement process (CSA will likely open a corruption case against him for this).
– Gross incompetence in managing the step-in processes pertaining to the Western Province Cricket Association and North West Cricket.
– The appointment of an unqualified Human Resources consultant, Chantel Moon, without following the correct procurement processes, illegally changing the reporting lines for this person so she reported directly to him, and being responsible for paying her nearly R1.3m for the period 2017 to 2018 for ad hoc HR work despite her not having a signed contract.
– Playing a role in CSA being re-committed to a R6.5m contract for security services after the initial contract period ended, instead of the contract going out to tender, as per CSA’s procurement processes.
The allegations against Moroe are serious and if true, speak to an incompetent and ethically compromised leader who was not fit for the role.
However, it also speaks to a culture of corporate passivity, tolerance and compliance that one man would be allowed to get away with such acts as detailed in these allegations.
What exactly were the rest of the Board doing to arrest this behaviour? How was Moroe, with the assistance of a couple of alleged co-conspirators, get away with what is alleged on their watch? How and why did CSA’s executive leadership allow this man to fundamentally compromise the game’s governing body?
That would be a report I’d be interested to read.
Beyond the Moroe allegations, there are other deeply troubling details in the report, not least of all that the Western Province Cricket Association are drowning in a mountain of debt they are never likely to financially recover from.
This stems mainly from loans they made from CSA to fund construction at Newlands Cricket Ground totaling nearly R88m, the majority of which they have not paid back and most likely never will be.
The WPCA has been in steady decline for years, but the latest revelations drive home the depth of the trouble at the once mighty association. The region has traditionally been one of the most talent-rich in the country, supplying the game’s elite professional ranks with players of exceptional standard.
Right now they are not even certain if they can host a club cricket season, given their dire financial situation. It is a cricket travesty of their own making.
WPCA former President, Beresford Williams, is now the acting President of CSA. The man who oversaw the steady demise of a giant in the South African game, is now being tasked with contributing significantly to CSA’s recovery. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.
WPCA is not alone in their struggles. There is no association in SA that is functioning at anywhere close to optimal efficiency. The Northerns Cricket Union are the best of a sorry bunch, comprising 12 Affiliates. The report details investigations into allegations of mismanagement at the North West Cricket Union, alleged fraud within the Impala Cricket Union, alleged irregularities within North West Cricket and urges CSA to consider investigations into ‘Cricket Union B’.
It is a mess and while one man is at the centre of attention, the game as a whole is in deep trouble.
CSA has a mandate to serve the cricketing public. The game belongs to the people and the people must demand decisive action be taken against those alleged to have captured aspects of it, and that a reformation plan be developed and implemented in order to stabalise CSA and its affiliates.
This is the most defining moment in our game post-isolation. It needs to be treated with the urgency and care it demands.