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Sat Apr 19 01:15:59 SAST 2014

GCB coup not a racial issue, says Mali

Jenny Bernstein, Sapa | 14 June, 2012 15:180 Comments
CSA media briefing
Ray Mali during a CSA media briefing at Inter Continental, OR Tambo International Airport on March 17, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa
Image by: Dominic Barnardt / Gallo Images

The attempted coup at Gauteng Cricket was more about power than race, according to Gauteng Cricket Board (GCB) interim administrator Ray Mali.

“As administrator over the last 21 months, I wouldn’t classify this whole thing as a racial issue,” Mali told reporters in Johannesburg on Thursday.

“I’m saying so simply because the board is a mixed board, which is representative of all the people of South Africa.

“The clubs that attended that meeting last night [were from] a wide spectrum of the South African community.

“In that context, I’d term it a power struggle and not a racial issue at this point in time.” 

At a special meeting held in Johannesburg on Wednesday evening, all 66 clubs in the province were invited to air their grievances after an attempt last week by some clubs to sack Mali and four other directors from the board.

Mali said the meeting was well attended and the clubs came out in big numbers.

“The whole saga revolves around the legality of the Langa Commission, at times termed an ’illegitimate exercise’ and we touched on those points,” Mali said.

“There was a big question mark that I had been engaged in an illegitimate set-up for 21 months.

“My position is not one that was ever imposed or forced on the GCB and my appointment was approved by all parties involved at that stage.”

The Langa Commission was tasked with investigating the GCB in 2010 after the affiliate questioned the details of the IPL contract, signed by Cricket SA, for the hosting of the 2009 tournament.

The commission found various operational discrepancies and CSA subsequently placed the GCB under administration.

Despite being vindicated by the Nicholson Inquiry, held earlier this year, the provincial board remained under administration until their Annual General Meeting (AGM) in two months’ time.

GCB’s chief executive Cassim Dockrat said an agreement had been reached, unanimously, on Wednesday, that the current board of Gauteng Cricket was legitimate and would remain intact until the AGM in August.

“We have set the way for any club, or group of clubs, with concerns to join us around a table and iron out differences,” Dockrat said. “It has been unsettling to be faced with this situation after 21 months of smooth sailing and having made big strides.

“But we have gone to great length to get the parties talking and ensure that the work which still needs to be done is completed.” 

Dockrat also rejected rumours that the affiliate was in financial trouble and had wasted money on luxury items.

“When we prepared the 2011/2012 budget, we were excited by the fact that we had been given two Australia games and one against Sri Lanka,” he said.

“But most of our income results from the sale of suites and advertising, and we suffered a big drop in both areas.” 

He said CSA were aware of the decrease in advertising and sponsorships suffered by all the provinces and they were working together on a solution to resolve the issue.

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