EP's fraudster won't back down
Rajan Moodaley (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Rajan Moodaley has declined to back down from standing for the Eastern Province (EP) cricket presidency, despite an uproar over his nomination because he is a convicted fraudster.
"I have always and will always have cricket at heart, I'm not in it for the free tickets, drink and food," said Moodaley.
"I want to look after cricket's best interests. So yes, I am still in the race for the presidency."
News of his nomination came as Cricket South Africa (CSA) was preparing for a special general meeting set to result in the ousting of president Mthuthuzeli Nyoka on Saturday.
Moodaley was the sole nominee for the vacant president post at EP cricket.
Elections for posts in the audit and risk portfolio and the presidency of the body take place on October 21.
This means local cricket could be embroiled in a further controversy with his possible appointment.
In 2004, Moodaley was found guilty by the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court of five counts of fraud totalling R79 950.
He fraudulently claimed payment from the Eastern Province Cricket Board, CSA and the SA Cricket Scorers' Association for scoring duties he did not perform.
He was fined R30 000 or two years' imprisonment, and a further two years' imprisonment suspended for five years.
Moodaley is an ex-president of the Eastern Province Umpires' Association and the Eastern Province Cricket Scorers' Association.
CSA's nomination committee head Ray Mali backed the nomination of the fraudster, saying he saw no reason why Moodaley could not run for the presidential post.
"I see nothing wrong in his nomination," said Mali.
"He has been part of the correct structures as the president of the most powerful board in EP cricket (Nelson Mandela Bay Cricket Board).
"The priority is finding a president and the criteria the nominations committee works on is based on the cricket knowledge and contribution made by the nominee and Moodaley has served the game well."
Moodaley's nomination and the election of new EP cricket board members - who are said to be allies of the fraudster - led to the withdrawal of incumbent president Donovan May.
May said: "Just looking at the new board, I can't work with those guys... and have decided not to stand."
Moodaley is said to have mobilised support for his nomination from the majority of previously disadvantaged clubs which do not play in the main EP league.
They outnumber the clubs opposed to his nomination.