Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent
A Johannesburg court has ruled that Cricket South Africa's decision in February to remove Dr Mtutuzeli Nyoka as president was unlawful and that he should be reinstated with immediate effect. However, CSA are appealing the decision of the south Gauteng High Court and told ESPNCricinfo that Nyoka would not return to his position until the appeal process is complete.
Nyoka was ousted in a vote of no-confidence two months ago, 18 months before his term was due to end. The presidents of the 11 affiliates voted 9-2 to have Nyoka removed. CSA did not want to reveal the reasons for the decision but it came after Nyoka challenged them in court.
"The applicant (Dr Nyoka) was removed because of his lack of leadership, his inability to communicate properly with the respondent's board and management team, his erratic behaviour and his personal vendetta against [CSA chief executive Gerald] Majola," AK Khan, CSA's Acting President said in the body's founding affidavit.
CSA's lawyers argued that "reasonable steps" had been taken to ensure Nyoka had notice of the February 12 special general meeting in which he was removed. Nyoka chose not to attend on the advice of his lawyer.
Deputy Judge-President Phineas Mojapelo, hearing the case on Friday, found that Nyoka did not receive proper notice of the meeting that was set up to remove him from office, that the proceedings in the motion of no confidence were invalid and that Nyoka's right to be heard before the decision was taken to remove him was violated.
Nyoka's spat with Majola is thought to be the central factor in his falling out with the board. Nyoka questioned the financial irregularities in CSA's bonus payment structure after Majola and 39 other staff members were awarded bonuses after the hosting of the IPL and Champions Trophy in 2009.
Bonuses worth R4.7 million (US$671, 238) were paid out after the events and were not fully declared to CSA's remunerations committee (REMCO). CSA said that this was in keeping with precedents set from the 2003 World Cup, when bonuses were not issued through REMCO. Nyoka called for an external investigation into the affair but CSA decided to exhaust their internal measures first and held their own commission of inquiry, under Khan.
The investigation cleared Majola of any wrongdoing but cautioned him against making "errors of judgement" and said that all future payments would have to go through REMCO. Nyoka accepted the findings at the time but was believed to be unhappy with them. If he is reinstated, it would no doubt prompt a reopening of the matter which may force CSA to make public their financial affairs. Part of Nyoka's demands in the case is that CSA will have to reveal certain financial information.
Nyoka left court shortly before the judgment was handed down to depart; he is believed to have flown to Kenya and could not be reached for comment.