Basson stays at CSA helm for now
WILLIE Basson will remain acting president of Cricket SA following speculation that he would step down after allegations of his involvement in apartheid chemical warfare surfaced.
At a special general meeting yesterday, the CSA board accepted Basson's explanation of his involvement in the apartheid and the current governments' chemical research programmes.
He insisted he had operated in good faith. "I have been open about my involvement from the beginning," he said.
"I spent two years in the 1980s for the previous administration and since 1993 I have been involved with the current administration. The board accepted my explanation and I will continue with my duties as acting president until the AGM," Basson said.
The only non-executive member who briefly attended the meeting was a nervous CSA convener of selectors, Andrew Hudson, who was part of a discussion on transformation. The continued exclusion of wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile was the main topic discussed.
"His [Hudson's] report was very well received and well presented. His explanation regarding the whole issue surrounding Tsolekile was unanimously accepted by the board. A foundation was laid for more contact and more communication between the selectors and the board," said Basson.
The meeting also officially cleared the way for the return of former CSA president Norman Arendse to the administration of cricket as an independent director. The new board structure will comprise five independent and seven non-independent members elected by the members' forum.
The board agreed that after 18 months the number of board members would increase to 16: seven independents and nine non-independent members.
"The [current proposed] 5:7 split is critical in evaluating how the new board will shape up. As a member of [Olympic committee] Sascoc we have to satisfy certain criteria," Basson said.
It was decided the chairman of the new board would be the elected CSA president and not an independent member.
The board will work on a plan to reinstate a mandatory black African selector to the selection panel as a matter of urgency.
"It is in the pipeline. The CEO [Jacques Faul] will begin the process and later there will be an election for an African selector."
Basson said he believes the meeting marked a step forward for CSA after years of controversy.