CSA interim chairperson asked to resign after verbal tirade against journalist

Zak Yacoob has been forced out of his job after his verbal tirade against a journalist went viral.

Zak Yacoob reacted angrily in a telephone interaction with a journalist. - M. VEDHAN

Zak Yacoob, the interim Board Chairperson of Cricket South Africa (CSA), has been forced out of his job after his verbal tirade against a journalist went viral. Yacoob faced widespread criticism after he repeatedly insulted the journalist who wanted him to respond to allegations against him.

South African Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa asked interim Board member Dr Stavros Nicolaou to take over despite an unreserved apology from Yacoob, who would have served out his term by mid-February.

Mthethwa had appointed the interim Board after an impasse between him and CSA after many previous Board members and senior management resigned within just a few months, thrusting the cricket authority into an administrative crisis. The minister said the decision to replace Yacoob was taken as a cautionary measure to safeguard the work already done by the Interim Board to turn around CSA.

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“This decision was made out of an abundance of caution, to safeguard the tremendous work done by the Interim Board, under his stewardship,” Mthetwa said.

Yacoob reacted angrily in a telephone discussion with TimesLIVE journalist Tiisetso Malepa.

“You are a dishonest, irresponsible idiot. You are a rogue and dirty journalist. I prefer not to answer your questions and to air my views when the enquiry comes up,” Yacoob said in the lengthy call, which was shared on social media and printed in the Sunday Times.

The enquiry that Yacoob was referring to was a disciplinary hearing against suspended Acting CEO of CSA Kugandrie Govender, who will face three counts of alleged misconduct. Govender in turn has lodged grievances of allegedly being treated unfairly by Yacoob.

'Stunned'

TimesLIVE reported on Wednesday that Mthethwa was “stunned” after he read the Sunday Times and then listened to the audio. “I met the judge and expressed to him my disappointment with how he had conducted himself. I informed him that he would have to go,” Mthethwa told TimesLIVE.

“Later on when I met the board, I made it clear that there must be circumspection and [they must be] respectful when dealing with the media,” Mthethwa added.

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