South Africa news

Majola suspended in bonus scandal

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 17, 2012

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Gerald Majola at Makhaya Ntini's retirement announcement , Johannesburg, November, 2010
Gerald Majola could face legal action on charges of violating the Companies Act © Gallo Images

Gerald Majola, the chief executive of Cricket South Africa (CSA), has been suspended with immediate effect pending the establishment of a disciplinary inquiry into the bonus controversy related to the 2009 IPL.

The decision was taken after the CSA board of directors met in Johannesburg to discuss the findings of a government inquiry into the payment of unauthorised bonuses. The retired High Court judge, Chris Nicholson, who chaired the inquiry, had recommended Majola be put on 180 days leave with full pay, in accordance with his contract, to prepare his defence for a possible court case.

The board of directors also appointed Dr. Willie Basson, an experienced cricket administrator and current chairman of the CSA transformation committee, as acting president of CSA until the annual general meeting in September 2012. Basson replaces AK Khan, who resigned the post on March 14, conceding that he had "failed to resolve the problem that has bedevilled our cricket for the past two years."

A board release said a disciplinary inquiry was required to address the findings of KPMG, the global auditing company, and the recommendations of the Nicholson Inquiry.

Majola and other staff members received a collective R4.7 million (US$ 671.428) in bonuses after the hosting of the 2009 IPL and Champions Trophy but those payments were not disclosed to CSA's remunerations committee and were picked up in a subsequent audit report as irregularities.

KPMG was eventually tasked with looking into CSA's financial affairs and found that Majola may have breached the Companies' Act on four counts.

The South African government stepped in after CSA did not make the findings of the KPMG report into the issue public and ignored subsequent legal advice by advocate Azhar Bham. South Africa's sports minister, Fikile Mbalula, chose to intervene and set up the Nicholson Inquiry in October, 2011.

The Nicholson-led committee found that Majola may have violated the Companies Act, and Majola is likely to face legal action.

CSA has also requested North West to second Jacques Faul, the CEO of North West, to act as CEO in place of Majola until the matter is resolved.

Khan had previously been vice-president, when Mtutuzeli Nyoka was president, and had, in that capacity, headed an internal inquiry into the bonus controversy, which saw Majola let off with a caution. The investigation concluded that Majola had been naive in not declaring the bonuses, rather than intentionally deceptive. CSA has now rescinded all the decisions made based on the investigation chaired by Khan.

Edited by Dustin Silgardo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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