Cricket South Africa top dogs abandon ship

Acting Cricket South Africa (CSA) president AK Khan and CSA audit and risk committee chairperson John Blair resigned from their posts on Wednesday night.

Khan said he had resigned at the CSA management committee (Mancom) meeting in Johannesburg. CSA said in a statement that Blair had also called it quits.

“I think it’s time for change and for new leadership,” Khan said.

“I’m going back to grassroots cricket and I hope to be able to contribute again at club level.”

Khan and Blair announced their resignations three days before a CSA board meeting at which its provincial presidents are expected to decide the fate of CSA boss Gerald Majola.

Finding its feet
Khan said he hoped new leaders would help cricket’s governing body find its feet after two years of negative media coverage and a struggle to find sponsorships for domestic competitions and international tours at home.

“New people will have fresh ideas,” he said.

“I am confident the game will overcome this one negative aspect.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Dennis Cruywagen, who called himself a close associate of the CEO, said in a statement that Majola would ask the Mancom for a three month leave of absence.

Majola has been at the end of in a long-running bonus saga after he and 39 other members of CSA staff received payments for hosting the 2009 Indian Premier League.

Last week, an inquiry—led by retired judge Chris Nicholson—recommended to Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula that Majola be suspended for 180 days, pending the conclusion of a disciplinary hearing, and repay the R1.75-million portion he received of the bonus payments.

‘Unfair and untrue’
Last year, KPMG found that Majola may have breached the Companies Act on at least four occasions after he failed to clear the bonuses through the CSA remuneration committee.

He was reprimanded twice but was cleared after an internal inquiry and the independent audit.

Former CSA president Mtutizeli Nyoka was given a vote of no confidence after he repeatedly called for an independent investigation into the bonus payments.

After reading the Nicholson inquiry’s report, Khan said on Tuesday that the CSA board had not taken sides throughout the bonus saga.

“The board has always backed cricket and not any individual,” he said.

“I have studied that part of the report very carefully and I think it is a bit unfair and untrue to say that there was a cover-up.”—Sapa