South Africa news October 11, 2012

Majola withdraws from disciplinary hearing

Suspended CSA chief executive Gerald Majola withdrew from his disciplinary hearing on Wednesday and announced through his lawyer that he would approach the country's Labour Court.

Majola is questioning the legitimacy of the Nicholson Committee, an enquiry launched by the sports minister Fikile Mbalula, which led to his suspension and disciplinary action being taken against him. The hearing will continue in Majola's absence and is expected to be completed next week while Majola will launch his challenge in the Labour Court by Monday.

"He would be participating in a process that constitutes a fundamental breach of his constitutional right to fair labour practices," Majola lawyer said in a statement.

The latest action lengthens what has been a three-year long process started by the bonuses paid to Majola and 39 other CSA staff members after the hosting of the 2009 IPL in South Africa. That money - an amount of R4.7 million (then US$ 671,428) - was found to have not been properly declared to the board by three separate commissions of inquiry.

The first was an internal investigation which cleared Majola of any wrongdoing but reprimanding him for making an error of judgement in not following correct corporate governance. A second enquiry done by auditing firm KPMG found the wrongs more serious and suggested that Majola could have broken the law. They recommended CSA seek legal advice, which they did. CSA's board chose to reprimand Majola "severely" in response.

It was then that Mbalula stepped in. He ordered that another investigation must be conducted and vowed to follow the recommendations of his committee to the letter. Judge Chris Nicholson chaired the hearings from December last year to February 2012 and in March, issued his findings. The two most notable ones were that Majola be suspended pending a disciplinary hearing and that CSA restructure its board.

The latter is almost complete. CSA will hold an AGM later this month in which they will appoint a new board consisting of five independent directors to go with five provincial presidents. They may also have to appoint a new chief executive if Majola loses his job after the disciplinary process is complete. Jacques Faul, the acting chief executive, and Haroon Lorgat, the former ICC boss, are believed to be in the running.

Majola's hearing was due to be complete by the end of May but it was delayed when he contested the appointed chairperson. The challenge was successful because John Myburgh, who was to hear the proceedings, made an advisory award against Majola and he was believed not to be impartial in the matter because of that.

Karel Tip was then appointed and the hearing started on Wednesday. However, before the first witness could be called Majola announced that he was withdrawing. The matter is expected to be resolved next week although the Labour Court challenge will take much longer.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent