Cape Town – The board of Cricket SA (CSA) had “failed to exercise leadership”, members of Parliament's sports portfolio committee heard on Wednesday.
Briefing MPs on the recommendations of the Nicholson Report, following the bonus and administration scandal that has rocked the cricket body, board member Chris Nenzani said there had been a “lack of oversight” by CSA.
The report, compiled by retired judge Chris Nicholson, found among other things, that now suspended CSA chief executive Gerald Majola had “surreptitiously negotiated the payment of bonuses” totalling R1.8 million, after the hosting of the Indian Premier League in South Africa in 2009.
Nenzani said on Wednesday that the CSA had accepted the Nicholson Report and was committed to sorting out the problems in SA cricket management.
“We made a public commitment... to fix the mess that we have created... I believe the board might, to some extent, have failed to exercise leadership.
“The Nicholson Report pointed to one thing: governance. That's the gist of it. That kind of a situation arises from the fact that you have within CSA's structures a lack of oversight in terms of who does what.”
On action taken by the CSA's 22-member board, he said a steering committee, comprising four board members and four “independents” from outside the cricket world, had submitted a preliminary report on July 13.
Among the key issues now being examined was the size of the CSA board.
“There is general consensus we need a smaller board. We need an independent board, and one that can become the custodian of cricket governance.”
The committee's report was being looked at by board members.
“We are setting out a governance model for cricket,” Nenzani said.
The steering committee were set to meet the board on August 11, at which time they would submit a draft report.
This would be taken back to stakeholders and affiliates for comment, before a “national indaba” on August 24 and 25, where its contents would be debated.
A final report would then be compiled for submission at the CSA's annual general meeting on October 27.
“We believe that by then we shall have a programme and report in place,” Nenzani said.
On the legal and disciplinary processes involving Majola, CSA acting chief executive Jacques Faul said it was trying to deal with the matter as fairly and quickly as possible, “but a disciplinary process is almost like launching a boat... you only have control until it's in the stream”.
Majola's legal team had asked that the chairman of the disciplinary hearing recuse himself, which he had done on Monday.
“We believe this process will now go further. We hope to actually finalise this as soon as possible. We are now going to approach the bar again to appoint a new chairperson... it's not in our interest this drags on,” he said.
On criminal proceedings against Majola, Faul said this was in the hands of the National Prosecuting Authority. CSA was co-operating with the Hawks in this regard.
“In terms of the civil claim process against Mr Majola and (CSA chief operating officer) Mr (Don) McIntosh, in terms of the bonuses, we've summoned them to return the bonuses, and we believe they will object to that,” he said.
Acting committee chairman Mgolodi Dikgacwi told Faul and Nenzani he wanted them to sort out CSA's problems.
“Get cricket right once and for all... If you want (players) to perform, they must not be worried about what's happening with their bosses So this is a request: just go and sort it out,” he said. – Sapa