| Nathi Mthethwa on Omphile Ramela: ‘I’m disturbed by these distractions’

Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa. Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa.

(Gallo Images/Jeffrey Abrahams)

  • Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa said he was somewhat disturbed by what he called “distractions” geared at taking the CSA interim board’s eyes off the ball.
  • Ex-cricketer Omphile Ramela has taken the interim board to court over his expulsion from the structure.
  • Mthethwa answered media questions on Friday about thorny matters plaguing the structure he appointed last October.

Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa said he was somewhat disturbed by what he called “distractions” geared at taking the Cricket South Africa (CSA) interim board’s eyes off the ball.

Mthethwa faced the media alongside the interim board and the members’ council on Friday, where he was asked about expelled former interim board member Omphile Ramela’s court action against the structure.

READ | Omphile Ramela blasts interim CSA board, accuses them of racial bias

The minister appointed Ramela as part of the interim board at the end of October but the former Cape Cobras captain’s relationship with the interim board soured in December after he was suspended.

Among a litany of serious accusations in his court documents filed on 15 January, Ramela accused the interim board of flouting governance processes in disciplining CSA company secretary Welsh Gwaza, a point he raised within prior to his suspension late last year.

However, Mthethwa said he had faith that the interim board had made the right decisions in the matters that have tainted the structure he appointed.

“Regarding Ramela, I have been interacting with the interim board and I have full confidence in them,” said Mthethwa.

“They’ve been informing me, reporting to me what is happening within the board and so on. I’m confident that the stance they are taking, if it goes to court … we will accept whatever the court’s determination will be.

“I have no fear that the interim board did everything according to book (the law).

“It is disturbing that you have these distractions, which want us to take our eyes off the ball, as it were.

“I’m glad that the interim board had consistently focused on the task at hand, as we’ve heard them accounting on the certain areas that we said they must deal with.”

More than having to clean up CSA, the interim board has also had its hands full cleaning up the mess left behind by its former chairperson Judge Zak Yacoob.

Yacoob left the interim board in disgrace last month after a verbal tirade against sports journalist Tiisetso Malepa.

Suspended CSA commercial officer Kugandrie Govender reportedly accused Yacoob of being “verbally abusive”.

“I said in the statement we issued about Judge Yacoob that he did sterling work in leading the interim board,” said Mthethwa.

“There was an incident involving a journalist and we then agreed that perhaps it would be appropriate that the judge deals with those matters, whether they go to court, outside of the interim board process.”