South Africa news

Majola guilty on all charges

Firdose Moonda

October 17, 2012

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Cricket South Africa chief executive Gerald Majola speaks to the media, Johannesbug, June 6, 2011
Gerald Majola's future will be confirmed by the end of the week © Getty Images
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Gerald Majola, the suspended CSA chief executive, has been found guilty on all nine charges laid against him at his disciplinary hearing, including accepting bonuses, not declaring them to the board and wrongdoing around travel claims. The sanction against him will only be decided on Friday, although it is likely he will be fired.

Majola's hearing took place without him after he withdrew from proceedings last week. He was invited to appear before chairperson Karel Tip for the decision today but chose not to. He could still make an appearance tomorrow to make submissions on the sanction that will be handed down.

When that takes place it will bring to an end an almost three-year long saga over which has centred on R4.7 million (then US$ 671,428) in bonuses that were paid to Majola and 29 other staff members after the hosting of the 2009 IPL in South Africa. Three separate investigations found that the money was not properly declared to the board and contravened principles of corporate governance.

Suspicion first emerged when CSA'a auditors picked up the payments as an irregularity in August 2009. At the time, sources close to the body maintained that the payments were made in accordance with precedents set during other non-CSA events, such as the 2007 World Twenty20. The then-president Dr Nyoka called for a more thorough look into the matter. CSA initially said they would have an external enquiry but decided to exhaust their internal mechanisms first and moved the matter in-house.

AK Khan chaired the commission and cleared Majola of any wrongdoing but reprimanded him for making an error of judgement in not declaring the money. On Nyoka's insistence - after having votes of no confidence passed against him twice and winning a court battle - CSA had to subject itself to an audit by major firm KPMG. Their investigation recommended CSA seek legal advice on whether Majola broke the law. After hearing testimony from a lawyer, the board chose to reprimand Majola severely in response.

The action was deemed to be unsatisfactory by the country's sports minister Fikile Mbalula. He stepped in and ordered that another investigation be conducted under Judge Chris Nicholson. Hearings were held from December last year to February 2012 and in March, Nicholson 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. On Tuesday CSA announced the five independent directors who will sit on the new board and will appoint five provincial presidents to join them at the AGM on October 27. They may also have to appoint a new chief executive if Majola loses his job after the sanctions have been announced. 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.

Tip was then appointed and the hearing started last Wednesday. Majola has since launched a challenge in the country's Labour Court. He is challenging the legitimacy of the action taken against him over the last year, particularly the decision to hold a disciplinary hearing against him.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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