Of ‘white mafia’, Indians and Jews

2011-12-03 19:56

It’s just not cricket!

This comment from a colleague summed up the past few weeks in the sport whose Test games are played in white uniforms.

The stuff coming out of the ministerial committee of inquiry into Cricket SA, chaired by Judge Chris Nicholson, has been quite unsavoury.

Even before the hearings began, when Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said: “People keep on coming to me and saying this one is in the Indians’ pockets and that one is in the pocket of the Jews,” it left a bad taste in the mouth.

He went on: “I wouldn’t like to go around and have people pointing fingers at me, saying I am in so and so’s pocket.”

Then came former CSA president Dr Mtutuzeli Nyoka last week. He informed the learned judge that he had been told by chief executive Gerald Majola that there was a “white mafia” that wanted to drive him (Majola) out of cricket.

So far, the oral presentations have painted Majola into a tight corner. Even those who came to his defence such as John Blair, Andy O’Connor and AK Khan were not convincing.

I mean, please, Blair saying: “He was never trained to be a CEO who knows the Companies Act,” is a feeble excuse. The man has occupied this position for more than a decade. Have we had an unfit head for so long?

Other revelations such as that of Majola having contravened the Companies Act on at least four occasions, and Nyoka’s testimony that at some stage Majola had told him that he had never declared his bonuses to previous presidents – the late Percy Sonn and Ray Mali, raises more questions.

Could it be that the reported shenanigans date further back than the 2009-to-date term the judge is investigating? If, indeed, some monies are missing, how long has this situation existed?

Majola will get his day on Wednesday, or later, and some of us expect him to shed more light on the matter.

As things stand, the man has a lot of explaining to do. But his side of the story will only surface on Wednesday, or later. We can’t judge him now.

Also, for Nyoka to say that he signed Majola’s R1-million travel allowance document after reading just one paragraph is not kosher.

Clearly, cricket needs a thorough clearn-up. And this doesn’t only concern us but the gentleman’s game globally.

I mean, from the Hansie Cronje scandal to a commentator calling top-order batsman Hashim Amla a “terrorist” and the match-fixing that has seen players being given jail terms. The sport is not as clean as we have been made to believe.

The Judge Nicholson probe provides cricket with the chance of starting over on a new wicket, as they say.

And it’s a shame that almost 20 years after international acceptance, there is still talk of “white mafia”, Indians and Jews.

Please, catch this opportunity.

– smseleku@citypress.co.za 

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