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CSA inquiry adjourned

by BuaNews Online
on 07 Dec 2011
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

The oral presentations to the ministerial committee of inquiry into the financial affairs of Cricket South Africa (CSA), chaired by Judge Chris Nicholson, will adjourn until January 2012.

Briefing reporters at the conclusion of the first phase of oral presentations in Pretoria on Wednesday, Judge Nicholson said: "We've so far received 5 000 pages of such submissions that we must thoroughly go through.

"We will stop our oral presentations for a short period and we will recommence on January 16 next year, but we will in the meantime be working on our report."

The committee was set up by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula following complaints that the internal hearing and forensic audit by accounting firm KPMG had failed to yield results relating to the bonuses paid to CSA chief executive officer, Gerald Majola and other staff members.

Nicholson also announced they were intending to summons Majola's predecessor, Ali Bacher, to testify at the inquiry.

When announcing the committee, Mbalula said he expected the Nicholson inquiry to conclude its work within a period of one month. However, the judge said: "This is no longer going to be possible given what we've got in our hands. On a daily basis, we receive volumes of written materials that we must thoroughly go through."

Nonetheless, Nicholson said they were anticipating finalising their report at the end of February 2012.

Nicholson, who thanked the Sports Department for its support, was encouraged by the cooperation he was receiving from key witnesses of his inquiry.

His sentiments were echoed by his two assistants -- National Treasury Accountant-General Freeman Nomvalo and Zoliswa Zwakala, Chief Director of Internal Audit at National Treasury -- who both said the inquiry would help to restore the credibility of CSA in the country.

Former CSA President Dr Mtutuzeli Nyoka appeared before the inquiry last week and described Majola as an untrustworthy person and liar.

Audit committee chairperson, John Blair, during his inquiry said Majola did not declare his R1.47 million bonus to the remuneration committee, adding that this was justified as bonuses had not been declared to the committee in the past.

Majola, who burst into tears during an interview with journalists on Tuesday at his appearance, testified that when South Africa hosted the Cricket World Cup eight years ago, Bacher and others shared a bonus of R9 million for organising the tournament, with Bacher pocketing R5 million.

Majola told the inquiry that former CSA chief operating officer Don McIntosh had been responsible for assigning the bonuses from the IPL.

He also said the board of CSA had not familiarised him with the Companies Act, which he has been accused of violating. He denied claims that he had determined his bonus, saying this was determined by McIntosh.

Majola told Nicholson although he grew up with Nyoka, they were not friends.

The Nicholson inquiry is focusing on R4.5 million in bonuses paid to Majola and other members of his staff following the 2009 staging of the Indian Premier League in the country.

Together with his team, they will also conduct an enquiry into assets and report on the effectiveness and efficiency of the current administration of CSA as well as recommend ways to eliminate deficiencies identified.

They will also recommend systems, practices and procedures to improve the administration of CSA. - BuaNews

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