South Africa news March 30, 2012

CSA set for overhaul after review

CSA's board is set for an overhaul after the current administration agreed to accept all the recommendations of the Nicholson Committee in principal. The board appointed a committee of eight people, four of them independent, at their quarterly meeting on March 30 to "lead discussions regarding the restructure". They also agreed to approach the Chairperson of the Bar Council to appoint an advocate to preside over suspended chief executive Gerald Majola's disciplinary hearing.

The Nicholson commission was set up by sports minister Fikile Mbalula to investigate CSA's handling of the bonus scandal, which centred on an amount of R4.7 million (US$611,000) paid to 40 staff, including Majola, in unauthorised bonuses after the 2009 IPL. In addition to dealing with the Majola matter, Nicholson recommended that the current structure of 24 board members be sliced in half and only 12 people sit on the board. Nicholson also suggested that three-quarters of the board, nine members, be independent directors, for better governance.

Throughout the almost 20-month scandal, CSA have said they are committed to improving their governance but this is the first step in that direction. CSA Acting President Willie Basson called the restructure a "matter of urgency" and said he hoped the plans for the new board will be put in place by the next annual meeting in September. "The key approach has been to make principled decision with a sense of urgency and at the same time acting in the best interests of CSA," Basson said.

Basson is one of four board representatives on the committee. The other three are Archie Pretorius, Chris Nenzani, president of Border cricket president and Vuyo Ntswahlana, president of Eastern Province. The four independent members have all been involved in cricket over their careers: former convenor of selectors Rushdie Magiet; Shawn Christiansen, a former Western Province cricketer who works for the country's labour dispute resolution body, the CCMA; former South African team manager Alan Jordaan; and Ashwin Desai, a sociologist who has worked on CSA committees previously.

The restructure has already been given the thumbs up from the South African Cricketers' Association who said they "want the administration of the game in the best hands".

The board did not announce any date for Majola's hearing but stressed that the issue is at the top of their priority list. Majola has been suspended for as long as it takes to conduct the disciplinary the process.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent