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Mon Apr 21 09:08:56 SAST 2014

Basson likely to quit CSA post

TELFORD VICE in Cape Town | 07 January, 2013 07:420 Comments
CSA Board Media Briefing
Willie Basson during a CSA media briefing in Sandton on July 13, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa
Image by: Duif du Toit / Gallo Images

CRICKET SA teetered on the edge of turmoil yesterday as Willie Basson contemplated resigning as acting president following allegations of his involvement in chemical warfare projects for the apartheid government.

Times Media learnt yesterday morning of Basson's decision to quit. At the time of going to press he was still drafting a letter to the board.

Whatever the reasons for his move, Basson could be the victim of a plot by figures who have an eye on his position as CSA's transformation chairperson.

Basson's tenure as acting president is set to end at CSA's annual meeting on February 2, but if he quits he will end speculation that he was to have faced a no confidence vote at a board meeting on Wednesday.

But with CSA desperate to project an image of stability in the wake of the bonus scandal and their restructured board still a work in progress, Basson's resignation would be unfortunately timed.

Basson, an international authority on governance and transformation in sport, has driven the process of redesigning CSA's board to include an independent component - as per the Nicholson recommendations.

The objection by the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee to the size of that component as well as to the recommendation that the chairperson should be an independent director has held up the finalisation of the board.

"Willie has done a tremendous job in getting us to where we are in terms of the governing structure," CSA acting chief executive Jacques Faul said. "If we can resolve the Sascoc issue nothing stands in the way of having the annual meeting and electing a new chairperson."

Basson's links to SA's apartheid past were reported last month. Further reports quoted him as saying his involvement was geared towards protecting the country from attacks, and that he also worked for the post-apartheid government.

A voice common to those stories was that of WP Cricket Association president Beresford Williams - who challenged Basson's appointment as acting president on the grounds that he should not serve in that capacity while also the organisation's transformation chairperson.

"If [the allegation of Basson's chemical warfare involvement] is true, he is not fit to lead us," Williams said yesterday.

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