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South Africa suspends three cricket top officials2 minutes read

Three top officials have been placed on suspension by Cricket South Africa

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South Africa suspends three cricket top officials
South Africa's captain Faf du Plessis (C) celebrates with teammates after India's Rohit Sharma has been dismissed during the second day of the third and final Test match between India and South Africa at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) stadium in Ranchi on October 20, 2019. (Photo by Money SHARMA / AFP)

Cricket South Africa said Wednesday it had placed three top officials on “precautionary suspension”.

No names were given but South African media reported that they included Corrie van Zyl, the interim director of cricket, who was seen as a front-runner for the full-time role which holds responsibility for the national team.

The suspensions came less than two months before South Africa host England in a four-Test series, with the key positions of director of cricket and team director yet to be filled.

CSA said in a statement the suspensions were related to a dispute over unpaid fees to players following the Mzansi Super League T20 tournament last year. The 2019 version of the tournament starts on November 8.

The other officials reportedly suspended are chief operating officer Naasei Appiah and sponsorship head Clive Eksteen.

The suspensions came a week after the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA), which represents professional players, declared a dispute with CSA over money it said was due to the players for commercial rights relating to the MSL 2018.

CSA said it was investigating whether the suspended officials were “derelict in fulfilling their duties” and that disciplinary action could follow. It said all fees due to the players would be paid to SACA immediately.

South Africa's Anrich Nortje reacts after losing to India at the end of the third and final Test match between India and South Africa
South Africa’s Anrich Nortje reacts after losing to India at the end of the third and final Test match between India and South Africa at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) stadium in Ranchi on October 22, 2019. (Photo by Money SHARMA / AFP)

The latest upheavals come at a time when the national team appears to be in disarray. Ottis Gibson and his coaching staff were fired after a poor World Cup campaign and a new structure was announced, with a team director to be appointed who would report to the director of cricket.

Van Zyl, a long-time employee of CSA, was appointed an interim director of cricket and Enoch Nkwe was made appointed interim team director following a successful season as coach of the Lions franchise.

Nkwe was in charge of the team that suffered three heavy defeats in three Tests in India earlier this month.

Applications for the permanent posts close tomorrow. The first Test against England starts on December 26.

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Business News

Zambia’s Zesco, Chinese firm enter $548 man deal

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Zesco Limited, Zambia’s state-owned electricity company, has signed contracts worth $548 million with Power China to develop three solar power plants that will add 600 megawatts (MW) to the national grid.

The three contracts are a step towards diversifying renewable energy for the country, which relies heavily on hydropower and has faced electricity shortages partly due to droughts.

“The three-grid solar PV projects will have a capacity of 200 MW each,” Zesco Managing Director, Victor Mundende said in the statement, adding that the power plants will boost access to electricity and enhance industrial development. A generating date is yet to be disclosed.

Zambia’s power supply deficit has grown by nearly 20% since September, State power utility, Zesco announced in March, despite hefty price hikes and the government’s fast-tracking of support for green energy projects. 

Zesco’s Director of Corporate Services Patrick Mwila said in March the electricity deficit had grown to 810 megawatts (MW) from a 690 MW gap in September last year. E

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Southern Africa

Sharks happy to hold on to Rugby World Cup stars

South African rugby side happy to hold on to Springboks Rugby World Cup stars Lukhanyo Am and Makazole Mapimpi.

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South African rugby side The Sharks have expressed their joy at holding on to Springboks Rugby World Cup stars Lukhanyo Am and Makazole Mapimpi.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a major shakeup in world and South African rugby as many high-profile players have left their clubs for pastures green.

Sharks have been able to retain the services of Am and Mapimpi but lost Springbok centre Andre Esterhuizen who agreed a deal before the Super Rugby season kicked off.

Am had led the Sharks to the top of the Super Rugby table before the season was called off and was made the skipper at the start of the season.

Eduard Coetzee, Sharks CEO said he is delighted to have the pair in the team and never wanted to put pressure on them to stay at the club.

Coetzee was happy with coach Sean Everitt for the impact he has had on the team since his appointment.

“This has been quite an emotional and difficult time. What we said to the players is that one way or another they’d be doing nothing wrong” Coetzee said.

“It was not like they asked for it [the escape clause], but it was an option given to them, and then it was up to them as individuals on how to handle it.

“I think they have dealt with it really well, and it was done on a platform of respect. I think it speaks volumes for the culture we’ve established, and how [coach] Sean [Everitt] has been able to get the team really close.”

With Am and Mapimpi staying with the team, Sharks have reatained Curwin Bosch, Thomas du Toit, JJ van der Merscht, Ruben van Heerden and Aphelele Fassi.

“It shows the players’ confidence in what we’re doing,’ Coetzee went on to say.

“It’s backing up what we’re putting in place and shows that players can trust us. We’re pretty relieved, but also just very happy that no one else is heading out the door.

South Africa Rugby had initiated a 21-day contract exit window in April so players could make moves to other clubs thereby helping the financial part of the game as play has been suspended.

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Business News

Zambia seeks IMF funding to cushion Coronavirus impact

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As Zambia begins the process of shortlisting financial advisers to help reduce its debt load, the country has applied to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a COVID-19-related rapid credit facility.

Already wrestling with a growing public debt even before the Coronavirus outbreak forced lockdowns across the globe, the pandemic dealt a big blow to demand for raw materials. Zambia is Africa’s second biggest copper producer.

The IMF in April, forecast Zambia’s economy would contract by 3.5% in 2020, down from growth of 1.5% in 2019, due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the global economy.

Zambia’s economic activity has also been hampered by widespread power shortages.

The Zambian government’s external debt stock jumped to 45% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019, up from 37% in the previous year, while its total debt stock is estimated at 89%, according to World Bank data.

The IMF has approved requests for emergency pandemic aid from 50 of its 189 members for a total of about $18 billion, a spokesman for the Fund said on Thursday.

The number of new coronavirus cases in Zambia rose to 252 on Saturday and deaths from the highly infectious respiratory disease increased to seven according to Health Minister, Chitalu Chilufya.

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