CSA official backs Majola

2011-12-01 09:21
Gerald Majola (Gallo)
Johannesburg - Cricket South Africa board member John Blair on Wednesday claimed there was a "sinister agenda" by people outside the organisation who were trying to run the game, reports the Sowetan.

He said this had been the reason for the board being "dysfunctional".

Blair was giving evidence to a commission headed by Judge Chris Nicholson. The commission is investigating the bonus scandal in CSA.

The chief executive of CSA, Gerald Majola, paid bonuses of up to R4.7-million to staff and himself from the staging of the Indian Premier League here in 2009.

Majola did not have board permission to pay the bonuses, of which he received R1.8-million. Blair defended Majola, saying he was a "cricket man" but had not been groomed to be a director.

Blair did not expand on the "outside agenda", but a former board member, Paul Harris, has told the commission that the bonuses undermined good corporate governance.

Harris told the commission last week that the undisclosed bonus payments were made under the guise of being part of the hosting fee the IPL had paid to CSA.

On Wednesday Blair and other board members, Andy O'Connor and AK Khan, said Majola had done no wrong. "As a director he (Majola) should have disclosed (the bonuses) but he was never trained to be a CEO who knows the Companies Act, and relied on the support of people around him (board members)."

Blair said firing Majola would not have made any difference and would not have been in the interest of cricket, saying that it was unfair to make this matter serious. Blair said Majola was not dishonest.

Majola did not know that he had overstepped the mark by not disclosing that he had given himself and staff bonuses because this had been done before and that previously "there was no problem with it".

Khan, who is CSA's acting president, said the bonuses were discussed at a number of board meetings but the amounts paid were not disclosed.

Read more on:    csa  |  gerald majola  |  johannesburg

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