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CSA agrees to external financial audit

Firdose Moonda

May 4, 2011

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Gerald Majola at Makhaya Ntini's retirement announcement , Johannesburg, November, 2010
Gerald Majola says his dispute with Mtutuzeli Nyoka is over © Gallo Images
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The finances of CSA will soon be laid bare as the body agreed to an external, forensic audit. The decision was taken in conjunction with a resolution not to appeal a High Court judgment which ordered CSA to reinstate Mtutuzeli Nyoka as its president on Wednesday night in Johannesburg.

An extraordinary meeting of the board was called to discuss the road forward after a high-profile spat between chief executive Gerald Majola and Nyoka. The kernel of their conflict was financial and revolved around R4.7 million (US$671, 428) in bonuses that was paid out to 40 CSA staff after the hosting of the IPL and Champions Trophy in 2009. It later emerged that Nyoka also wanted details of how CSA spent money from an account to the value of R84.6 million (US$12,085,714). CSA maintain that the money was used to run the IPL.

In deciding not to oppose Nyoka's return to office, CSA have agreed to a full audit, even though it has held its own inquiry into the payments. That investigation, chaired by vice-president AK Khan, cleared Majola of any wrongdoing and cautioned him of making any future "errors of judgment," because the bonuses were not cleared by CSA's remunerations committee. Insiders said this was in keeping with a precedent set during the hosting of previous major tournaments such as the World Cup in 2003 and the World Twenty20 in 2007.

It has not yet been decided who will conduct the external inquiry and Nyoka said a lawyer from CSA's Legal and Governance Committee will make the decision and announce it "very soon." Indications are that the South African Sports and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), who were observers at the meeting, will conduct the investigation. South Africa's sports ministry said that SASCOC would be enlisted if CSA were unable to come up with a satisfactory resolution on Wednesday.

"The meeting today was extremely good," Nyoka said at a media briefing afterwards. "I don't think one can be dishonest and say that there weren't problems, there were problems. We should not underestimate the damage that has been done in cricket. But we made an important decision."

Nyoka appeared a more satisfied man than he has in the past, having finally won his battle after six months of turbulence. Nyoka was removed from office in February when the board passed a vote of no confidence against him. He chose to challenge the decision in court and on April 15, judge Phineas Mojapelo ruled that Nyoka was removed from office unlawfully and ordered that Nyoka be reinstated with immediate effect.

Nyoka said that the tussle between him and Majola had ended and that "what we are committing to do is to undertake a process of reconciliation and healing." After the meeting, Nyoka and Majola held a private discussion, in full view of the press, for 10 minutes. They were both animated in their talk but it culminated in them addressing the media together.

"Gerald and I were children together," Nyoka said, before turning to Majola and embracing him while the cameras rolled. "This is a handshake of friendship and deep affection and respect."

Majola, who emerged a relieved man, said he was satisfied with the proceedings and pledged his allegiance to Nyoka. "As my president, I will serve him." The pair said their decision was taken with the best interests of cricket in mind.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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