Mongezi Gerald Majola
November 20, 1959, South Africa
Gerald Majola was the chief-executive officer of the South African cricket board from 2000-12 and was at the heart of a scandal over unauthorised bonuses that brought the structure of South African administration into question. The controversy eventually led to Majola's suspension in March 2012 after intervention from the South African government. 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.
Majola was initially let off with a caution after an internal investigation by the South African board but after the results of a KPMG report on the issue were not disclosed, the government stepped in and set up their own inquiry. The inquiry not only implicated Majola as having possibly breached South Africa's Companies Act, but also suggested a restructuring of the board, which was backed by the South African Cricketers' Association. Some of the other repercussions of the bonus scandal were the ousting of CSA president Mtutuzeli Nyoka, who had pushed for an external audit into the issue, and the resignation of Nyoka's replacement, AK Khan, who had chaired the internal audit that initially cleared Majola.
Gerald, or "Gailor" as his closest friends and family call him, is the younger brother of one the country's most influential cricket figures in both pre and post-apartheid, the now deceased Khaya Majola. The Majola family was heavily sports-orientated with Gerald and Khaya, seven years older, actively encouraged by their father to play both rugby and cricket.
Majola took over from Ali Bacher as head of South Africa's cricket administration in 2000, and decided not to take up Bacher's offer to mentor the new chief executive. "I have to be my own man. If I was working with Dr Bacher then I would be compared to him, or people would expect me to imitate him, so I couldn't accept that. I will be the first Gerald Majola, not the next Ali Bacher," Majola had said.
He could play a bit, too, although records and statistics of non-white matches and careers during the apartheid years bare no comparison to the recognised 'first-class' structure. Simply organising and competing, on poor or artificial pitches, was an achievement in itself and yet Majola's name features in every batting list there is: leading run-scorers, century partnerships, and highest scorers. Among his favourite memories is the sixth-wicket stand of 145 he added with Khaya for Eastern Province against Transvaal in Johannesburg in 1986/87. Majola made 117, his career-best. He was a natural leader, too, captaining the SA Schools side to victory over the provincial 'B' teams for a unique success in 1978-79.
Majola had been part of other smaller controversies before the bonus scandal and had admitted to making some mistakes. Financial difficulties entangled the first-class game during his tenure, as it wrestled with a cumbersome switch from 11 failing professional unions to six regional franchise teams.
Neil Manthorp and ESPN Cricinfo staff
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