News24

Bacher pleads no involvement

2012-01-16 19:29

Johannesburg - Former cricket boss Ali Bacher told the inquiry into South African cricket's bonus scandal on Monday he had no involvement in his getting a R5 million bonus following the 2003 Cricket World Cup.

Bacher said at no stage was he involved in discussions for a bonus after the tournament in South Africa with either the United Cricket Board of SA (UCBSA) or the Cricket World Cup (CWC) company, the organisation created and charged with organising and running the tournament.

Bacher told the commission, chaired by retired judge Chris Nicholson, that the R5 million was awarded in accordance with the way he had organised and run the tournament, and also took into account his pension as he was to retire from cricket administration after the tournament.

His monthly salary at CWC was R59 161, the most Bacher said he had ever received as a cricket administrator.

When he began his career as a cricket administrator, no provision had been made for retirement or medical benefits. Such benefits only came into existence in the latter part of his career at the UCBSA. He said the amount he had accumulated from the UCBSA was “quite frightening.”

The decision was verified by both companies' boards at the time.

Altogether R6.5 million was paid out in bonuses following the conclusion of the tournament.

"When we talk about 2003, to the credit of the Cricket World Cup [company], they were strong and consistent with the payment of R5 million being made public,” Bacher said, citing a Sunday Times article published at the time.

"No CWC director received payment for their involvement in the CWC. They saw it as a contribution to their country,” Bacher said, disputing claims made by current Cricket SA CEO Gerald Majola in December that certain staff had received money from CWC for services rendered at the tournament.

Bacher was the CEO of the UCBSA from June 1991 to January 1, 2001, when he became the executive director of CWC in preparation for the 2003 tournament.

Majola replaced him as CEO of the cricket body on the same date.

Bacher said in the latter half of 2000 he was offered a percentage of the profits made from the coming tournament, after discussions at board level at the UCBSA. Bacher declined the offer, stating the board would decide on an appropriate bonus at the end of every year, as his contract stated.

Majola initially discussed a six-month mentoring period with him before taking over, but this did not materialise. Bacher said a CEO deciding to operate independently from his predecessor was not uncommon in the corporate sector.

“You get a feel, an impulse, that it’s time to move on. I had the same feeling in 2000.” With the Cricket World Cup approaching, he felt it was the appropriate time to move on.

When asked by Nicholson about comments Majola made in a book, suggesting Bacher had left the UCBSA in a chaotic state, the former CEO declined to comment.

He was quizzed on his opinion concerning defects within the board structure of South African cricket.

"Conflict of interest and vested interest is a serious problem.”

He referred to the current review underway in Australia, a country he believed led the world in cricket administration, as an example of how to reform management of the sport, with independent board members being the central thrust.

Bacher said he did not come forward to the committee of inquiry until he was invited because he was not party to events surrounding the Indian Premier League bonuses paid to Majola and other cricket officials.

After Bacher left cricket administration, he said he never wanted to have contact or influence people currently involved with the running of cricket in South Africa.

The Nicholson inquiry was announced by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula after auditing firm KPMG recommended that CSA’s remuneration and travel allowance policy be reviewed.

A KPMG audit found that bonus payments to staff had not been fully declared to the federation's remunerations committee, and that Majola had breached the Companies Act on at least four occasions.

SAPA

Comments
  • Barry - 2012-01-16 20:48

    5 million in 2003 = about 8-10 million now.

  • Donny Doncaster - 2012-01-16 20:52

    ..they should've got Judge King.

  • Chris - 2012-01-16 21:17

    How much was the so-called Hansie Cronje "bribe"?It would be interesting to look at Dr Bacher's and fellow board members' personal bank accounst(and all related accounts) to verify all deposits relating to Cricket SA and relating activities.It should not be that difficult!Why not get a forensic auditor to probe these things?While framing Hansie they were all smiling while pocketing millions at the expense of the 'almost" innocent.Corporatocracy at its best!

      Bigrp - 2012-01-16 21:58

      Framing Hansie...what planet are you from?

      Geoff - 2012-01-17 11:10

      Why do people like you go on so about Hansie being framed? He was a crook. He took money to affect the outcome of cricket matches. He confessed to this! What has this got to do with a bonus for running a successful world cup?

      Mike - 2012-01-17 13:20

      Hansie was a crook as Geoff said. I agree there may be more out there who are still playing and weren't caught or maybe to famous to name.Framed is the wrong expression but fall guy would be closer to the mark.

  • Caroline - 2012-01-16 22:48

    FRANS Chris sommer in die boeretaal gese, jy hap bubbles en jy weet dit.

  • Madulla - 2012-01-16 23:09

    So! The wheel has finally turned! But wasn't that inevitable? Hansie Cronje was banned from playing or coaching cricket for LIFE!! So Mr Bacher, "What do you think of all the developments that had led to the stench that is emanating from Cricket South Africa?" Should Majola not also be banned from the administration of cricket for LIFE? Not just for the blatant lies that he told this commission, but also for the millions of rands that he stole from CSA. And Mr Bacher, when you again look at yourself in the mirror, ask yourself whether stealing or being bribed, aren't similar crimes! And, then ask yourself if Hansie really deserved the life ban!!! If he did, then you must propose a similar sentence for the parasite that is Majola. I hope that your conscience doesn't bother you at night.

  • Irene - 2012-01-17 00:16

    Bacher's salary was R59K a month. Compare that to Majola's R175K a month!

  • Thopa - 2012-01-17 08:29

    Guys Lets not get emotional with our updates. Both these guys are or were great administrators, but the one thing that they both resonate with is their love for fat bonuses after major tournaments.....

      adrien.mcguire - 2012-01-17 10:11

      Sports administration should be a career of love for the sport, not a form of personal enrichment. Bonuses should be limited , as managing the tounaments is part of the job. Write the job descriptions properly up front and we won't have these problems. Incentives are a normal part of most executive packages, but the excesses are vulgar.

  • adrien.mcguire - 2012-01-17 10:15

    One thing that really irritates me is the stars of the sport travel economy class, whilst the Administrators travel first class. The rules of the game need to be changed. Administrators should also travel economy, afterall who needs to perform most at the destination? The players or the administrators?

  • Deon - 2012-01-17 10:21

    Very few people complained when the 3 "wise men of soccer" received ? R10m each for the soccer WC, but at least it was out in the open. Majola made many mistakes with his bonus(ses), he should go.

  • Thando - 2012-01-17 10:42

    Why does Dr Bacher always slur his speech ?

  • derwyn.oxley - 2012-01-17 14:03

    How can you justify a good salary of R59k pm and then a R5m bonus for doing the very job you are already handsomely paid for? There is absolutely no way anybody will justify this outrageous greed and corruption. Majola was obviously just following Ali's lead and thought he would cvash in even quicker than Ali. So, we as supporters pay for Ali to travel the world in fine style, give him a nice salary on top AND he still wants to take R5m on top. If he had negotiated a development fund for the money to be directed to, maybe he would be remembered well. I have no respect for this kind of behaviour and greed. Ali, do the honourable thing and pay it back.

  • Oz - 2012-01-17 18:12

    Here's the sort of character Ali Bacher is. When he was Test captain in 1969, he asked to toss early. The opposing captain saw no reason not to, so they tossed early, with the wicket looking very grassy and green. SA were sent in - then with 30mins before the start of play, Bacher had the wicket shaved of all grass (using an obscure playing condition that the wicket can be altered up to 30mins before play). A despicable piece of sportsmanship that shows you exactly what sort of person Bacher is. Dirty stinkin' filthy grub.

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