South Africa news April 26, 2012

Majola to learn fate by May 31

Suspended CSA chief executive Gerald Majola will know his fate by May 31. That is the timeframe the country's sports minister, Fikile Mbalula, and CSA have agreed on for completion of Majola's disciplinary hearing.

The hearing concerns R4.7 million ($671,428) paid in unauthorised bonuses to CSA staff after the hosting of the IPL and Champions Trophy in 2009. Senior council John Myburgh will chair the disciplinary committee and an independent prosecutor will be appointed from the Bar Council for the proceedings.

Majola was suspended in March after an independent commission of inquiry, convened on the order of Mbalula and chaired by Judge Chris Nicholson, recommended that Majola undergo a formal disciplinary process. CSA had not previously taken any such action against their chief executive despite internal and external investigations, which found that bonuses were paid without due procedure being followed.

Majola was cautioned against violating corporate governance by the internal investigation, chaired by former president AK Khan, and severely reprimanded after an audit by KPMG and subsequent legal advice found that he had breached the Companies Act. The bonuses, which were awarded to 40 CSA staff members, were paid in addition to a payment that had already been made for extra work done during both those events and were not declared to the board.

Importantly, Mbalula said all money that was awarded improperly will have to be paid back. "If there is anyone that received bonuses outside the ambit of the law and that was not properly declared, those people will be attended to," Mbalula said, adding that it would include those who have since resigned from CSA. "Civil processes will be lodged for those who are outside CSA," he said. "At the end of the day, the bonuses will have to be recovered."

CSA survived the meeting with the minister with its board intact, despite speculation in the local media that Mbalula would ask them to resign en masse. Mbalula revealed that he did not make any such request because the ministry was impressed with the steps the board had taken since the Nicholson report was made public. They suspended Majola and appointed an acting CEO, Jacques Faul. They also had a change of guard in the presidency post as Khan resigned and Willie Basson was appointed acting president.

"We didn't ask the board to resign because we made our own examination of things," Mbalula said. "They have got an acting CEO and acting chairperson. To ask for the entirety of the board to resign, certain things would not have been done in terms of the Nicholson recommendations. If the board feels they have been part of the mess, they can't avoid the mess. They must be part of the broomstick that cleans the mess."

The other recommendations Mbalula referred to was the restructuring of CSA's board, proposed by Nicholson, which called for a smaller board with more independent directors. An eight-person steering committee was appointed in March, consisting of four board members and four outsiders, all of whom have been involved in cricket in some capacity, to discuss the restructure. That committee will now be added to, as members of the ministry and the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee will also be party to their meetings.

The steering committee will go on a roadshow of the 11 provincial associations with their proposal, before presenting it to the national indaba on governance restructuring ahead of September's AGM. A new board will be elected in September and Mbalula said it will remain up to CSA whether any of the current board members can stand again.

CSA will also launch a transformation fund in May, which will serve the aim of developing the game in previously disadvantaged areas and communities. Basson is passionate about ensuring cricket reaches the majority of the South African population from grassroots level and was previously the transformation chairperson. "CSA has committed itself to the philosophy that transformation has to be advanced on the basis of a natural evolutionary process that will enable us to grow as a sport over the next 20 years," Mbalula said.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent