CSA: 'Frankenstein' Majola must face music, says Arendse

Former Cricket South Africa (CSA) president Norman Arendse believes the body’s under-fire chief executive, Gerald Majola, should face a disciplinary hearing for his role in the Indian Premier League (IPL) bonus scandal, saying a lack of accountability within the sports body had led to a “Frankenstein” situation where Majola “was allowed to do what he wanted”.

“It has come to a point where [Majola] must take his chances and go to a disciplinary committee hearing and answer for his actions,” Arendse said in Pretoria on Tuesday, testifying before the Nicholson inquiry into the administrative processes of South African cricket’s governing body.

Majola is accused of pocketing several million rand in unscheduled and unauthorised bonuses during his tenure as CSA’s chief executive, including a payout of R1.3-million following South Africa’s hosting of the Indian Premier League in 2009.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula convened the inquiry after a KPMG audit report into the bonuses revealed irregularities in CSA’s financial processes.

“This whole bonus saga leaves a bad taste in the mouth and goes against what I am about, and where I come from,” said Arendse, who served as CSA’s president from June 2007 to September 2008.

Arendse said Majola’s reign had become a “Frankenstein” situation where “he was allowed to do what he wanted”.

“We’ve created this environment of—I’ll stop short of saying lawlessness—but of a lack of accountability on behalf of the CEO,” he said.

In his testimony, Arendse described how, during his stint as CSA president, Majola made significant financial and administrative decisions without consulting the body’s board.

According to Arendse, the hosting of the IPL was Majola’s decision “alone”.

Arendse said Majola remained popular with the CSA board, because he had positioned himself as a “bulwark” against transformation.

“Surely it would shock you [to realise] that since 1991 we’ve only had eight black players in the national team,” he said.

Arendse further believes transformation in cricket has taken a back seat as the CSA board is “too weighted in commercial interests”.

The former cricket boss said CSA’s financial structures ought to be revamped in order to transform cricket and produce more black players.

“The CSA board should from now serve selflessly with no remuneration or hopes of such. There would be no time for empire building. There is a higher duty on directors to ensure that profits—especially like those generated by the IPL—go back into the game,” he said.

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Nickolaus Bauer

Nickolaus Bauer

Nickolaus Bauer is the Mail & Guardian's jack of all trades news reporter that chases down stories ranging from politics and sports to big business and social justice. Armed with an iPad, SLR camera, camcorder and dictaphone, he aims to fight ignorance and pessimism through written words, photographs and videos. He believes South Africa could be the greatest country in the world if only her citizens would give her a chance to flourish instead of dwell on the negativity. When he's not begging his sub-editors for an extra twenty minutes after deadline, he's also known to dabble in the occasional poignant column that will leave you mulling around in the depths of your psyche. The quintessential workaholic, you can also catch him doing sports on the weekday breakfast show on SAfm and presenting the SAfm Sports Special over the weekend. Read more from Nickolaus Bauer

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