Cricket South Africa suspends chief executive Gerald Majola

Gerald Majola continued to proclaim his innocence in the wake of a report by the Nicholson inquiry Getty Images

Johannesburg: Mar 17, 2012

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has suspended its chief executive Gerald Majola even as its Brand and Corporate Relations Manager Kass Naidoo became the latest senior staff member to tender her resignation.

The CSA board today decided to institute disciplinary proceedings against the embattled Majola who continued to proclaim his innocence in the wake of a damning report by the Nicholson inquiry, instituted by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula.

The disciplinary hearing will also address findings against Majola by the earlier independent inquiry by auditors KPMG. Both inquiries found Majola to be in breach of his fiduciary duties.

The Nicholson inquiry followed nearly two years of wrangling over huge IPL 2 bonuses, which Majola paid himself and other senior CSA staff without informing the board of CSA.

IPL 2 was played in South Africa due to security concerns around elections at the time in India. Queries about the irregular bonus payments led to CSA president Mtutuzeli Nyoka being dismissed in absentia twice.

After lengthy and reportedly heated deliberations, the CSA board refused to consider Majola’s request for three months leave of absence to fight the allegations against him and resolved instead to rescind all decisions pertaining to the findings of the Khan Commission as well as the relevant resolutions pertaining to this matter.

The Khan Commission was a controversial internal CSA inquiry, which largely cleared Majola of any wrongdoing. It was chaired by acting CSA president AK Khan, who resigned earlier this week and apologised for the debacle at CSA.

CSA’s board also decided to appoint Dr Willie Basson as acting president of the organisation until the annual general meeting in September, 2012 together with a request to provincial franchisee North West to second its chief executive officer, Jacques Faul, to act as CEO of CSA until the matter was resolved.

Basson is a highly experienced cricket administrator and is currently chairman of the CSA Transformation Committee.

CSA brand and corporate relations manager Naidoo, who was one of the 40 senior CSA staff to receive the contentious IPL bonuses, gave her reasons for resigning in a statement.

“I have stayed until now firstly to allow the processes to fully investigate me, as I have been implicated, and secondly to passionately promote the good work of CSA through a daunting period for it, and not to leave it in the lurch,” Naidoo said in her statement.

“Now that the ministerial committee of inquiry has completed its work, I believe that it is the right time to go. Naturally, I remain available to any forum having jurisdiction and requiring input from me,” she said.

Naidoo was the third senior CSA staff member to resign this week after Khan and the chairman of the risk and auditing committee John Blair.

Mbalula yesterday came out strongly against CSA as he reacted to the Nicholson report which had called for Majola’s suspension and possible investigation of criminal charges by the National Prosecuting Authority.

“If the board of Cricket South Africa has any moral compass, and understands its fiduciary duties, it must, in its meeting tomorrow, do the right thing,” Mbalula said.

The minister hinted that the entire board of CSA should go: “Is it not time for the board to make way for a new leadership that will take Cricket South Africa to a new era of hope and clean governance?” (PTI)