Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent
Cricket South Africa has appointed auditing firm KPMG to conduct an investigation into their financial affairs. The inquiry comes after the CSA board agreed it would not challenge a court order to reinstate president Mtutuzeli Nyoka, who insisted on a full, forensic audit, at a meeting in Johannesburg on May 4.
Ishmael Semenya, a lawyer on CSA's legal and governance committee, was tasked with appointing the external auditors at that meeting. He took almost three weeks to decide on which of the country's four big auditing companies would have the responsibility of conducting the investigation. It is understood that disagreements between board members led to the delay in appointing KPMG.
The firm's mandate will be "to investigate and report on the payment of bonuses, travel expenses, related expenditure and fringe benefits paid to CSA staff members in connection with the IPL and Champions Trophy hosted in 2009," Semenya told ESPNcricinfo. The investigation will start immediately and Semenya is hopeful the findings will be ready in four weeks.
The audit is the culmination of a long battle between Nyoka and chief executive Gerald Majola, which has centered around finances. CSA awarded R4.7 million (US$671,428) in bonuses to 40 staff members in 2009, which were not declared through the body's remunerations committee (REMCO). Insiders said this was keeping with precedents set during the hosting of the 2003 World Cup and the 2007 World Twenty20. Nyoka wanted these payments and details of how CSA spent money in an account to the value of R84.6 million (US$12,085,714) scrutinised by external auditors.
CSA instead held an internal inquiry, chaired by vice-president AK Khan, because it believed it had not exhausted its own procedure. The investigation cleared Majola of any wrongdoing, saying he had made "an error of judgement" in not declaring the payments through REMCO and ordered him to pay back an amount of R28,168 (US$4024) which was used for travel for his children.
Following the inquiry, in February this year, the board passed a vote of no confidence against Nyoka, removing him as their president. Nyoka challenged the decision in the South Gauteng High Court, where it was found that his removal was unlawful and that he should be reinstated and his demands for an external audit met. On the same day as the judgement, CSA issued a release stating its intention to appeal the decision.
They backtracked on that statement on May 4 at a board meeting in which Majola and Nyoka reconciled "with the best interests of cricket in mind." At the time, it appeared that the South African Sports and Olympic Committee would conduct the external inquiry, but it has since been decided that KPMG will be tasked with the investigation.