Seasoned sports administrator, Zola Thamae, has become the first woman president of any of Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) affiliates after she was elected as President of the Free State Cricket Union at its annual meeting on Tuesday evening.
Thamae, 49, highly respected in the business world as a senior manager at the Department of Sport, Art and Culture in the Free State, said: “I am deeply honoured to be elected to this prestigious position and I look forward to the challenges it will undoubtedly place in front of me.
“Free State cricket is in a very healthy state at the moment with our provincial team having had a very good season last year,” said Thamae. “The Central franchise of which we are part continues to be highly competitive in the major domestic competitions as well.”
CSA led the messages of congratulations, with President Chris Nenzani calling it a landmark moment not just for cricket but for all sport in South Africa.
“It is highly appropriate that this election should take place in August which is the month in which we celebrate the enormous contribution women have made to all aspects of South African society.
“It was a very sad month for us last year when the CEO of Northerns Cricket Union, Elise Lombard, passed away on National Women’s Day as she was certainly a pioneer in the advancement of women at the highest levels of South African cricket administration.
“But this year it is an occasion to celebrate as we remember Elise’s enormous contribution,” said Nenzani, “And also wish Zola all the best in her new role.”
Nenzani described Thamae as a highly experienced cricket administrator, having served Free State as vice-president for four years. She also served on CSA’s Board of Directors under the previous dispensation and was the first woman to do so. She is a former manager of our national women’s team and currently serves on CSA’s transformation committee.
“We all look forward to welcoming her as a valued member of CSA’s shareholder group, the Members’ Forum,” he added.
(With editing by gsport)