CSA head wants help in improving cricket's image

AK Khan has appealed to the media to help restore the image of cricket in the country after he was appointed acting vice-president of Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Saturday.

Former president Mtutuzeli Nyoka was removed from office hours earlier at a special general meeting of the CSA members’ forum in Kempton Park.

“We are all honest and decent people. Help us to move the game forward,” Khan said.

He pleaded to the media to consider the positives achieved by CSA before making a judgement against the national cricket body.

“We’ve made mistakes—we’re human beings—but we love the game,” Khan said.

“We hope you will help us to get back.”

‘Overwhelming majority’
Nyoka, who did not attend the meeting on the grounds of ill health had been accused of bringing the organisation into disrepute by disregarding the majority decisions of the board and damaging its reputation.

He was ousted by “an overwhelming majority” according to a CSA statement.

Khan said it required a team effort to serve the board and the members had to work together. He said Nyoka had not played his part.

“When we meet in a board meeting, we debate, we discuss and we fight and come up with a policy that best serves the interests of cricket,” he said.

“When we leave the meeting, our statements must reflect the board’s policy.

“Individual views should remain individual, otherwise that brings about ill-discipline and causes the kind of damage which we have seen here.”

Suspension nothing new
The board had dismissed Nyoka in a similar fashion in February but he fought his removal in the North Gauteng High Court and was reinstated two months later.

This time the board had taken stronger measures to ensure they followed all the correct procedures.

Khan said he was “deeply saddened” by the battle between CSA and Nyoka which had raged for two years.

He added that CSA would introduce new measures of governance.

“We will undergo a vigorous induction program so we can learn our duties and responsibilities,” he said.

Nyoka’s fate was sealed after he continued to probe financial irregularities within the organisation.

After details emerged about unofficial bonuses paid to CSA’s chief executive, Gerald Majola, and other staff members in 2009, Khan headed an internal inquiry into what became known as “the CSA bonus scandal”.

Khan’s inquiry found Majola had “made an error of judgement” in failing to clear bonus payments with CSA’s remuneration committee (Remco) but took no further action against him.

While Nyoka continued to argue for sterner measures to be taken, the board backed Majola.

Cutting ties
Khan said he was aware of the resignation of Remco chairperson Thandeka Mgoduso who stepped down on Friday night.

In a letter to Nyoka, Mgoduso listed a number of reasons for cutting ties with the federation, including a lack of objectivity, transparency and corporate governance practices by the board.

“I have lost confidence in the Remco members in terms of their ability to execute their responsibilities without fear or favour,” she wrote.

Majola appeared confident after the board meeting and said he thought the bonus saga had been put to rest months ago.

“What saga?” asked Majola.
“I thought the matter had been concluded after our AGM in Port Elizabeth [in September] and it was already closed.”

Khan, previously the CSA vice-president, would act as president until the federation’s next annual general meeting in August 2012.—Sapa

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