CSA legal head testifies on 'laughable' sanctions
Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Gerald Majola determined his own sanction at a board meeting earlier this year, CSA legal and governance committee head Ajay Sooklal told a committee of inquiry on Monday.
Sooklal described proceedings at a CSA board meeting in Port Elizabeth in October as farcical, where Majola was to be sanctioned for his part in a bonus scandal.
“After the discussion by the board over what the sanction should be, a farcical situation arose when the board mandated four board members and I to deliberate with Mr Majola, his legal counsel and his lawyer as to whether the sanction was appropriate as to what the board was considering.”
Sooklal said he left the meeting in protest because he thought it was laughable to have an informal disciplinary inquiry and then ask the employee whether he was satisfied with the sanction.
Changed his mind
He said he suggested to acting CSA president AK Khan that Majola should be persuaded to return a R1.7-million bonus for hosting the Indian Premier League as it had brought instability to the organisation.
Majola agreed to return the bonus, Sooklal said, but returned later with Ray Mali and another board member to inform Sooklal that he had changed his mind.
“Mr Mali was resolute that there was a board meeting in December 2010 when the board, after considering the Khan report, had decided to return the bonus to Mr Majola,” Sooklal said.
“As such, there was a board resolution to that effect and Mr Mali was resolute that Mr Majola should not return the bonus.
“Mr Majola then chipped in and said he did not have the money to return such a bonus.”
Sooklal said he suggested that Majola return the money with the hope that it would bring an end to the instability it had caused the organisation—keeping sponsors away from the sport.
He said the coach of the national cricket team wanted his salary to be top secret and Majola said only the chairperson and the chair of the audit committee would have knowledge of the agreement between CSA and the coach.
“In respect of the issues around corporate governance, one is calling for a forensic audit in respect of the entire administration of CSA,” Sooklal suggested to the committee, which is chaired by Judge Chris Nicholson.
“One needs to look at drafting a new constitution in the way cricket should be run.”
Sooklal criticised Khan, saying that as long as he was a steward of CSA there would be no disciplinary inquiry.
“The majority of those board members, as far as they’re concerned what occurred on October 19 in Port Elizabeth, that is the be all and end all in respect of the sanction to be imposed on Mr Majola,” Sooklal said.
He suggested that cricket be placed under administration in a similar manner to Athletics SA, which was suspended for a period by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee in 2010.—Sapa. .