Retired Constitutional Court judge Zak Yacoob in a file photo. Picture: THE TIMES
Retired Constitutional Court judge Zak Yacoob in a file photo. Picture: THE TIMES

Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa has told the Cricket SA (CSA) interim board that its chair, retired judge Zak Yacoob, must go.   

The minister met the board on Wednesday and communicated his desire for Yacoob to step down from his position for bringing the CSA into disrepute.

Mthethwa was stunned after he read the Sunday Times and then listened to the audio of the volley of insults Yacoob fired at Arena Holdings journalist Tiisetso Malepa during a heated interview.

The minister was also not happy with the way the former judge dealt with suspended CSA acting CEO Kugandrie Govender.

“I met the judge [Yacoob] and expressed to him my disappointment with how he had conducted himself. I informed him that he would have to go,” Mthethwa told BusinessLive.

“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.

“I also informed them that with Yacoob stepping down, Dr Stavros Nicolaou will be the chairperson.”

Nicolaou will serve as acting chair until the end of the interim board’s term of office on February 15.

The suspended Govender alleged she was verbally harassed by Yacoob. A disciplinary hearing against Govender is set for January 28 following her suspension in December on three counts of alleged misconduct.

In two letters of grievance, seen by BusinessLive, that she wrote on December 2 and 3 2020 to the CSA members council, Govender claims she was treated unfairly by Yacoob.

This allegedly included an impromptu vote of no confidence in her as acting CEO. When the vote was not resolved, Yacoob allegedly offered her R5,000 of his own money to seek legal counsel.

Yacoob reacted angrily in a telephone discussion with sports reporter Malepa. He said: “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 inquiry comes up [on January 28].

“In any case, isn’t that sub judice? Isn’t that going to be an issue that is going to come up in her proceedings? Where do you get that bullsh*t from? Where do you get your idiotic notions from?

“I do not respect you and I think I will not respond to your idiocy. You may print that in your newspaper if you so wish.”

CSA interim board spokesperson Judith February said in response to questions submitted by BusinessLive that “the information contained in your message [questions] is wholly inaccurate”.

“Ms Govender’s hearing will proceed on January 28 and that will be the appropriate forum for adjudication,” she said.

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