While there is uncertainty about the resumption of amateur sport, an even bigger shadow looms over local cricket as the credibility of the Chris Hani Cricket Association has become a matter of dispute.
Factional battles are at the heart of a disagreement between Mfundo Siyo and Sivuyile Yawa who are opposing a new committee elected late last year at an AGM.
Siyo and Yawa, who were the acting chairperson and secretary of the association respectively, have labeled the new structure lead by Muntu Williams as illegitimate and unconstitutional, and are refusing to vacate their posts.
The AGM in question was held in December when all the members of the previous committee resigned, citing failure of the committee to carry out its duties.
In an article published on December 9, (AGM elects new Chris Hani Cricket Association committee) The Rep reported, “the dissolution was welcomed with open arms by all the clubs present after Sivuyile Ngonqo told the sitting how the structure had failed to meet its obligations, putting cricket in the region in a perilous state.”
Siyo has, however, called their ousting a coup d’etat. “That affair was a jamboree of friends. It was nothing short of a coup d’etat. If it was an AGM, who presented the chairperson’s report? What about the secretary’s and treasurer’s reports? There was no Border cricket involvement,” said Siyo.
He went on to call into question the legitimacy of Williams whom he claims was suspended at the time. “Williams, who was elected chair, was suspended from the committee at the time. Ngoqo had resigned via sms which we accepted. In an AGM held earlier last year I was elected acting chairperson. I did not even know about an AGM until I heard from other members,” said Siyo.
The current chairperson (Williams) has rubbished the claims, saying all resolutions were taken with the knowledge of all clubs and stakeholders. “Siyo and Yawa were well aware of the AGM. The clubs were forwarded a communication, even those chaired by Yawa and Siyo. We contacted the stakeholders and told them about the AGM and the Chris Hani Sport Council was represented. The decisions for the so-called suspensions and resignations were done by Siyo and Yawa summarily, without the knowledge of the then committee and clubs. They were not AGMs but machinations by them to oust people they disagreed with.
“According to them, every member of that committee was suspended. They were the committee. The issue of Ngoqo’s resignation was disputed by the committee because there was never any official communication. The same the pair, then deputy chairperson (Siyo) and secretary (Yawa), rejected outright that official association communication can be done via Whatsapp.
“At the AGM all the clubs were represented with the exception of one which excused itself,” said Williams.
The communication about the AGM was provided to The Rep.
Williams went on to lambast Siyo and Yawa, saying they were at the heart of the destruction of cricket in the region. “As an example they went to the department of sport and took kit that was meant for club development. The clubs are yet to see that kit. These are the reasons they were voted out. We are trying to mend relations with stakeholders because of the mess they caused. Cricket has been on a perilous decline and they have been on the fore of that. Anyone can see cricket is dying.
“If they dispute anything we put forward we challenge, then in the presence of all our stakeholders, along with the media to bring all their evidence so that issues can be ventilated clearly for everyone to see,” he added.
In reply to a query made to Border Cricket about which structure currently regulated the programme in the region, Border CEO, Andile Mxenge, they could not provide a position as a board yet.
In an emailed response he wrote, “At this stage, I cannot give you any concrete answer because this matter is new to my desk and I would like to do thorough research before I provide you with the board’s position on the matter. Remember, it is only ethical for me to comment on something that I fully understand, especially when it relates to our membership. We are currently engaged with the professional status bid and have not had time for many of our other responsibilities. The bidding process will end on March 5 and from thereon, life will be normal for his institution.”