The Democratic Alliance has requested a Parliamentary inquiry into allegations of political interference in the Proteas’ team selection for their Cricket World Cup semi-final against New Zealand.
A parliamentary inquiry is the best intervention to clear the dark cloud hanging over this matter which has serious implications for the true independence of national sports teams.
External interference in technical matters of sports team is a serious violation of local and international sports practices.
While the leadership of Cricket South Africa (CSA) has flatly denied external interference in the selection of the team, allegations of political interference of this magnitude should be investigated by Parliament.
The latest revelations by the Proteas conditioning coach, Mr Mike Horn, and the CSA’s insistence of silence from those parties allegedly implicated in this matter, is not sufficiently reassuring to the public that there was no undue pressure to change the team.
Furthermore, the CSA’s own finding that there was no interference in the team selection is questionable given that senior figures in its federations are allegedly implicated in the saga. This brings into question the genuine independence of the CSA’s investigation.
Cricket SA has made major inroads in rebuilding its image and restoring good governance following a period of instability that culminated in the dismissal of former CEO Gerald Majola.
Any failure to get to the bottom of this matter in a transparent manner risks reversing these positive gains.