Cricket South Africa mourns passing of former acting president Willie Basson


Cricket South Africa (CSA) are mourning the passing of former acting president, Willie Basson.

Basson served as acting president of the organisation from March to September 2012 and played a leading role in the implementation of many of the recommendations of the Nicholson Committee. 

In a statement released to the media on Tuesday, CSA Board chairperson, Lawson Naidoo, said Basson made a huge contribution to cricket and sport in South Africa.

“There are few people who have made a bigger contribution to sport in South Africa, particularly during the difficult period of unifying sport in the transition period leading up to the first democratic national elections,” Naidoo said.

“These included being an executive member of the National Olympic Committee of South Africa (NOCSA) that had to oversee the selection of a representative team for the Olympic Games of 1992 in Barcelona and then on the National Sports Council (NSC) which became the national controlling body post the democratic elections. 

“He was a leader in establishing sound governance principles in sport and his work here included being a member and director of the Drug Free Institute of South African sport.” 

Basson served the Northerns Cricket Union over a long period, starting with his election as chair of CBC Old Boys Club in 1973 leading through to becoming president of Northerns from 1980 to 1990 and a Board member of the South African Cricket Union from 1985 to 1990. 

CSA president Rihan Richards highlighted the enormous contribution Basson had made to the transformation of sport and cricket, in particular. 

“He was a member of the ministerial commission that conducted an extensive enquiry into the status of transformation in South African cricket which led to a review by SA Cricket of their approach to transformation,” said Richards.

“He also served as chair of CSA’s transformation committee. In this role he was the author of CSA’s Transformation Charter and Scorecard that included a strategic transformation fund. These were all initiatives to put transformation on a focused and dynamic path after the slow start we had made in the early years of our organisation. 

“He was also a member of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) that advised the Minister from 2012 until his untimely passing on transformation in sport and the progress that was or wasn’t being made across all sporting codes. 

“Transformation remains a work in progress, and we owe him a great debt of gratitude for what has been achieved to date,” Richards added. 

CSA acting chief executive Pholetsi Moseki saluted his contribution to sport.

“The very fact that the NSC nominated him for the Protea Presidential award and that President Nelson Mandela personally honoured him with the state president award for Services to Sport in 1998 speaks volumes for his contribution to South African sport,” said Moseki.

“We are indeed grateful that his first love was cricket and that we as an organisation benefited from his wise advice and counsel over a number of decades. He is yet another of the outstanding South Africans whom we have lost in recent times. 

“On behalf of the CSA family and indeed all South African sports lovers I extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Felicity, and family, his friends and colleagues throughout the sporting world.” 

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Publish date : 2021-07-19 15:09:58

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