Cricket

Majola 'didn't intend to lie'

2011-11-30 17:05
Gerald Majola (File)

Johannesburg - Cricket SA chief executive Gerald Majola had not intended lying to the board, CSA audit committee chairman John Blair said on Wednesday.

"That is the finding that we had: that he was not dishonest, that he did it based on previous events and what had transpired in previous events," Blair said in Pretoria.

"As far as we were concerned, he did the same as previously and there was no problem in that."

Blair told the sports ministry's commission of inquiry into cricket that Majola had not followed correct governance procedures when he paid himself bonuses.

The Khan commission, which cleared Majola based on the results of a KPMG audit report, had felt he had not been given enough training in that regard.

"We came out with a finding that there wasn't sufficient fiduciary responsibilities shown by Mr Majola, but that was shown through his naivety," Blair said.

"We accepted that because we all know that Mr Majola is a cricket man and he lives for cricket.

"But he has never, as I can see, had an induction counselling in terms of becoming a director, so he didn't really know what was required of him as a director."

CSA cricket committee chairman Andy O'Connor said the submissions made to the committee by auditing firm KPMG were inconsistent with an executive summary it compiled earlier.

O'Connor told the inquiry he was shocked by KPMG's conduct.

He was asked to read a paragraph from the KPMG report in which the auditing firm said Majola had not wilfully deceived anybody.

"My understanding is that he [Majola] did not wilfully go out of his way to deceive anybody or hide anything from anybody," O'Connor read from the final KPMG report.

However, KPMG's risk and compliance specialist Herman de Beer told the committee last week there were "technical contraventions of the Companies Act".

O'Connor said these revelations had shocked him as CSA had paid KPMG a lot of money to conduct the forensic audit which finally bore contradictions.

Recommendations made by the Khan commission, headed by CSA acting president AK Khan, were debated at length.

All board members with the exception of one had agreed to adopt the recommendations.

"It was a majority decision and [former CSA president] Mtutuzeli Nyoka was present, and Mr [Bernard] Matheson [Nyoka's counsel] was present," O'Connor said.

He said the board was satisfied with the recommendations made by the Khan commission as they also felt that Majola had done an exceptional job in organising the Indian Premier League tournament and deserved bonus payments for his work.

"We felt the profit and the amount of work being done and possible benefits economically to the country warranted those kinds of bonuses," he said.

"I felt it was not out of the ordinary due to the fact the tournament was put in place in four weeks which was an amazing feat, and felt it was a job well done by Majola and [former CSA chief operating officer Don] McIntosh.

Blair said there was not enough evidence to give Majola a stronger sanction.

"Perhaps there were irregularities and certain people could make out that there were problems, but in the interest of cricket we needed to go forward and make decisions," Blair said.

"We came out with the finding that there was not sufficient fiduciary evidence."

Representatives of CSA were giving the only oral presentations to the committee, chaired by Judge Chris Nicholson, on the fifth day of the hearings.

Read more on:    csa scandal  |  gerald majola
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