At long last, movement in the Moroe case

INVESTIGATION

"I would like to stress that the board is treating this matter with urgency and is committed to bring it to immediate conclusion." - Nenzani

“I would like to stress that the board is treating this matter with urgency and is committed to bring it to immediate conclusion.” – Nenzani © Getty

It’s been almost seven months since Cricket South Africa (CSA) suspended chief executive Thabang Moroe on claims of misconduct. That’s nearly 30 weeks ago. Or 4,968 hours. Or 298,080 minutes. Or 17,884,800 seconds.

And all the while Moroe, his employers and important aspects of cricket’s operations have been in limbo, not least because, thanks to the board, the forensic investigators appointed in the case weren’t able to start work until March – three months after Moroe was forced to vacate his post.

He won’t mind going nowhere slowly. While CSA decide what to do about him, Moroe continues to be paid his salary of more than USD20,000 a month.

Finally, on Tuesday, the suits blinked and proffered a release: “The board… had its initial discussion of the first report of the commissioned forensic Audit on Monday evening and will have a follow-up meeting on Friday when they will take the actions necessary from its findings and recommendations.

“There has been a slight delay in the delivery of the final report, and it is anticipated that this will be received during the course of next week.”

CSA president Chris Nenzani was quoted as saying: “I would like to stress that the board is treating this matter with urgency and is committed to bring it to immediate conclusion.”

Perhaps that was intended as a joke to defer attention from the last sentence of the release, which was also attributed to Nenzani: “We will certainly be able to act on the issue of the suspended chief executive on the basis of the first report.”

Seasoned CSA watchers know that if there is any news in a board release it will be in the document’s concluding words. So it has proved again.

Repelled sponsors – Standard Bank ended a 21-year relationship with cricket during Moroe’s last days in the job – and an alienated press – five senior journalists who had reported critically on his performance had their accreditation revoked – could, if the guilt for those sorry situations is proved to be his, already be enough to sack him.

Whatever Moroe did or didn’t get up to with his company credit card – the allegations are hair-raising enough to avoid reporting on pain of legal action – might not have to come into the conversation. Similarly, for the purposes of getting rid of him, the reasons behind his ruthless aggregation of authority may not need to be probed.

Moroe’s tenure started in September 2017 when he was parachuted into the chief executive’s office from the board, where he had served as Nenzani’s vice-president, in an acting capacity in the wake of Haroon Lorgat’s abrupt and fuzzily explained departure. He was appointed on a three year-contract in July 2018.

That alone should have raised the alarm. Surely Moroe would take his support on the board into his new role, which could have led to conflicts of interest. Indeed, the possibility that the investigation is taking so long because it will implicate board members in wrongdoing cannot be discounted.

But CSA are under too much pressure not to do something about Moroe. Something – or someone – has to give. Count on Moroe being that someone. Don’t count on board members going down with him.

Remember, they’ve had almost seven months, or nearly 30 weeks, 4,968 hours, 298,080 minutes or 17,884,800 seconds, to get their story straight.

© Fame Dubai

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