Picture: 123RF/RICHARD THOMAS
Picture: 123RF/RICHARD THOMAS

Cricket SA has disputed the Western Province Cricket Association’s (WPCA) claim that it is in breach of the memorandum of incorporation (MOI) between the organisations.

But Cricket SA has not engaged with the other reasons the WPCA has given for launching legal action against the national body over its decision to put the province under administration in September.

In a news release on Saturday‚ the WPCA board said it had lodged an urgent application in the high court in Johannesburg  to “immediately interdict [Cricket SA] from implementing or executing upon what WPCA considers to be an unlawful decision taken by Cricket SA to exercise step-in rights in respect of WPCA”.

Cricket SA‚ the WPCA release said‚ had “no right or entitlement to exercise step-in rights over a self-standing voluntary association‚ being WPCA”.

The national body had also “not complied with the provisions of its own memorandum of incorporation‚ did not afford WPCA a hearing prior to taking the impugned decision” and “took the decision based on an incorrect and inaccurate factual basis”.

In a written response to a request for comment on the WPCA’s specific claims‚ Cricket SA said it did not agree “with the allegation that [Cricket SA] has not complied with parts of its MOI and further reiterates that the decision to place the WPCA board under administration was based on both sound legal counsel and in accordance with Cricket SA’s MOI”.

No reference was made to the WPCA’s other stipulated challenges to Cricket SA’s actions.

“It is equally important that we outline that the decision to place the WPCA under administration was taken in the best interest of the sport of cricket and also to protect the interest of the WPCA’s affiliated entities and the extended cricketing stakeholders in the Western Province‚” Cricket SA’s statement said.

“Cricket SA will in due course respond to any and all matters being raised in the courts.”

Cricket SA said on September 22 that it had taken control of the WPCA at board level over financial and governance concerns.

At issue is a construction project at Newlands that is potentially worth R800m‚ and which Cricket SA loaned the WPCA R81m to help finance.

WPCA would be significantly less financially dependent on Cricket SA if the venture is successful.

Cricket SA are believed to have called in the loan after a communication breakdown with the WPCA.