Wednesday, August 19, 2020

The Curious Case of Beresford Williams

Newlands Cricket Stadium is set to upgrade their offices from next year in an attempt to become debt-free by 2021. Why is this important? Because in order to reach this level of financial prosperity Western Province Cricket Association had to go cap in hand to Cricket South Africa's offices to ask them to help fund this venture. Fortunately for the Cobras, their president, Beresford Williams was also the Vice-President of CSA. This potential conflict of interest was flagged as an actual conflict of interest by former CSA board member, Jack Madiseng in an email to former CSA President Chris Nenzani and Williams. 

Here's an excerpt from the email; 

“At the time of the proposal for CSA to partner with Western Province, CSA Fincomm comprised of the now vice-president, treasurer and the president of Boland [Williams] (which also sits on the Cobras Board, which is made up of Western Cape, Boland and South Western Districts),” Madiseng said in his submissions to the forensic investigators on May 25.

“The partnership proposal (CSA and Western Cape) was pushed/driven by the CSA vice-president and the treasurer of the board, which in my humble opinion were conflicted due to the following: At the time of the proposal, the vice-president (Williams) was president of the WCA but sat in all meetings (board and CSA finance sub-committee) relating to the subject.

“He only recused himself at our recent board meeting at OR Tambo [airport]. Maybe the conflict has been declared according to clause 13 of our board charter and recorded in our minutes. This can only be proven by records in our minutes.”

It is interesting that despite that apparent conflict of interest, and various other complaints which led to the South African Cricketers Association requesting that the entire board as presently constituted step down, CSA have promoted a president from within. Even Madiseng, himself a board member at the time found it ludicrous that the CSA leadership brass was trying to suggest that all of the ills in CSA could be laid at the feet of Thabang Moroe, with Madiseng saying it would be better if the entire board - which includes the Vice President - were to be dissolved. 

"At the present moment, the people who should be fired should be the board or the president and the vice-president for poor/lack of leadership and lacklustre decision-making,” Madiseng wrote.

“Your non-visibility gave the media and the public a perception that the CEO unilaterally makes all the decisions, which is not true. We all know the CEO can't act without the mandate from both of you.

“Based on the above statement/challenges, who do we hold accountable for such own goals? In my humble opinion, I hold ourselves (the board) accountable, and not the CEO and his executive team,” said Madiseng.

“If someone had to be fired/dismissed, in all honesty, the 'entire board' should be fired/dissolved for 'rubbishing' the CSA's brand."

It is therefore quite interesting, and almost unbelievable, that of all the people who were involved in that potentially messy affair, as well as just the disastrous running of CSA in general for the last year and a half, Beresford Williams is the last man standing. More than that, he has ended up the President. 

Oh what tangled webs we weave

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