‘I was absolutely shocked,’ Shirley Zinn says on resigning from Cricket SA board
‘I was totally horrified to find out that these things happened and I wasn't going to stand by and look the other way,’ the former independent director said
The unravelling of Cricket SA's (CSA's) administration backbone continued at breakneck speed as independent board member Shirley Zinn resigned with immediate effect on Tuesday‚ citing problems with CSA's principles of corporate governance.
Zinn‚ who joined CSA in 2018 and served on the human resources and remuneration subcommittee as one of five independent directors‚ said the organisation's appalling manner in which five journalists were banned from covering Mzansi Super League matches‚ its reaction to the Sunday Times's story on former Proteas captain Graeme Smith's imminent appointment as the director of cricket, and CSA's CEO Thabang Moroe's radio interview on Monday regarding the reasons for banning journalists, were some of the reasons that informed her resignation.
“There are a lot of issues‚ some of them are being fixed‚ but one of them is the relationship with the SA Cricketers’ Association‚ [and] the accreditation of journalists being withdrawn‚ which is something that I thought was an appalling approach in terms of dealing with journalists.
“I was absolutely shocked to see that and how that was authorised from a governance perspective in terms of who decided that that was the best step to follow‚” Zinn said.
“The Graeme Smith story in the Sunday Times was completely out of line, and in terms of the accreditation issue‚ I heard it in the media and no-one communicated that to me. If that happened‚ I certainly wasn't on the list of the people who were spoken to about the matter.
“I was shocked, and then I heard the Thabang radio interview on Monday morning. I can't describe to you how worrying it was in terms of how he made that call. Those two issues were the straw that broke the camel's back. They finished me off and I put pen to paper on Monday,” Zinn said.
“I was totally horrified to find out that these things happened and I wasn't going to stand by and look the other way.”
Zinn‚ a seasoned board director who is a human resources specialist‚ recently resigned as Shoprite's lead independent director, following the re-election of chair Christo Wiese. The majority of shareholders had voted against Wiese.
Zinn said there were many board issues that need to be rectified before CSA could move forward.
“The board needs to be properly constituted and we've got too many people in acting positions. We've brought this issue up at various board meetings and there's one committee chair position that's been filled‚” Zinn said.
“However‚ the lead independent director position hasn't been filled‚ even though it's been outstanding for a while. There are too many intricacies and the lack of following proper processes.”
CSA's spokesperson, Thami Mthembu, said he could not comment on board issues and referred queries to CSA president Chris Nenzani‚ whose phone rang unanswered.
CSA had been scheduled to hold a media conference at its Johannesburg headquarters at 6pm on Tuesday. However, a few hours after of sending out the media invitation, the event was postponed to Saturday at 3pm, as CSA will be holding a board meeting then at OR Tambo International Airport, in Johannesburg.
CSA's main sponsor, Standard Bank, spoke to CSA on Monday evening‚ with the bank's group chief marketing officer, Thulani Sibeko, saying they should have been made aware of CSA's developments.
“As a major sponsor of cricket in SA‚ we believe that we should have been afforded the courtesy to be kept abreast of these developments within CSA‚ and not to hear about them from the media in the unfortunate manner that we did‚” Sibeko said.