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
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.