Beresford Williams isn’t the best pick for CSA chief. Here’s why

Sport

Beresford Williams isn’t the best pick for CSA chief. Here’s why

Lack of action while the association crumbled, and a conflict of interest, mean he doesn’t tick the right boxes

Sports reporter
Beresford Williams's conflict of interest linked to Newlands is just one reason he can’t be trusted with the position of CSA president.
Sticky wicket Beresford Williams's conflict of interest linked to Newlands is just one reason he can’t be trusted with the position of CSA president.
Image: Gallo Images/Johan Rynners

How acting Cricket South Africa president Beresford Williams steers the organisation’s badly listing ship will have a big impact on whether he scores the full-time presidency on September 5.

That’s when CSA sits for its most eagerly awaited annual meeting where the board will have a completely different look to what it has now.

There will be a new president, vice-president and new board members who have to chart a new way for the embattled organisation.

Is Williams the right person to take CSA forward?

A recent TimesLIVE report on the conflict of interest Williams was implicated in with regards to the current construction project at Newlands is just one of the reasons he can’t be trusted with the position Chris Nenzani held for just over seven years.

At board level, the declaration of interests is paramount for clean and correct corporate governance. As we’ve seen with how the various PPE scandals that have scalped political individuals all because of undeclared interest, wilfully or not, the importance of declaring interests cannot be understated.

The results of these undeclared interests across SA’s political landscape are there for everyone to see. CSA’s response when queried about the conflict of interest was: “The issue of conflict of interest is part of the forensic investigation, and we cannot pre-empt its findings.”

It was a case of seeing and hearing no evil from Williams’s side as CSA fumbled from one mistake to another.

This is the same report that not only didn’t meet deadlines, but has yet to reach the public eye. That begs one question: why is a vice-president who could be the subject of adverse findings in an audit report allowed to hold a position while the report itself hasn’t been made public?

However, CSA’s non-independent board members have shown a particularly diffident stickability in their positions that would be the envy of Test batsmen across the world.

The fact that Nenzani resigned on Monday morning was a matter of when, not if, even though the premature nature of his exit with less than three weeks left of his extra year raises more eyebrows than anything else.

In the same manner that President Cyril Ramaphosa continuously courts criticism for being the silent deputy president while then president Jacob Zuma ran amok, Williams will have the same fingers pointed at him for his perceived lack of action while the CSA house of cards tumbled around him.

It was a case of seeing and hearing no evil from Williams’s side as CSA fumbled from one mistake to another. Maybe three weeks isn’t enough for him to make a play for the permanent presidency, because after all, he may only have two years to serve on the board.

A president has a term of three years which can lead to a second if the said individual is re-elected. Nenzani’s extra year also showed that one year can be one year too long. The same could apply to Williams if he indeed wants to lead CSA.