Second major South Africa cricket sponsor seeks resignations

Jeanette Marais, deputy chief executive of insurance company and CSA sponsor Momentum, said the company demanded the resignation of the board.

Momentum is the sponsor of South African one-day internationals and a one-day domestic competition as well as club, schools and age group cricket.

Momentum is the sponsor of South African one-day internationals and a one-day domestic competition as well as club, schools and age group cricket.   -  Getty Images

Cricket South Africa’s embattled board suffered a new blow on Thursday when its second major sponsor said it would only continue its association with the game if leading officials resigned.

Insurance company Momentum said it had outlined terms to CSA for its continued backing of the sport. Momentum’s move followed an announcement by Standard Bank last week that it would not renew its sponsorship when its contract expired at the end of the season, claiming controversies surrounding CSA were harming the bank’s reputation.

Jeanette Marais, deputy chief executive of Momentum, said the company demanded the resignation of the board, alternatively the resignation of president Chris Nenzani and vice-president Beresford Williams, and an independent financial audit of CSA.

Marais said Momentum had also told CSA it wanted the appointment of a lead independent director “with relevant experience” and the appointment of an independent director with on-field cricket experience, as well as the resolving of issues between CSA and the SA Cricketers’ Association.

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Marais said Momentum insisted that CSA addresses its governance issues immediately and resolves them by April 30 next year.

Momentum is the sponsor of South African one-day internationals and a one-day domestic competition as well as club, schools and age group cricket.

The CSA board, which last week suspended chief executive Thabang Moroe, have refused to resign despite calls from the Cricketers’ Association and several other cricket personalities. Three independent directors have resigned as well as one non-independent director.

South Africa starts a Test series against England on December 26. Former captain Graeme Smith agreed on Wednesday to act as director of cricket for a three-month period and has been given the task of overseeing preparations for the series.

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