Majola turned down

2013-08-30 00:00

HE came, he saw and was conquered.

That sums up Gerald Majola’s innings with Cricket South Africa (CSA), an innings that saw him ousted as CEO last year and his bid to be reinstated turned down by the Labour Court in Johannesburg yesterday. This was one referral that was instantly turned down and perhaps this time, he has been banished from the playing field for good.

Majola was dismissed as CSA’s CEO in October last year following an internal disciplinary hearing relating to misuse of funds. Once these findings were issued, it was recommended Majola be dismissed with immediate effect.

It was a bleak outlook for a man who had advocated he was all for promoting the game and highlighting what good could be done for the game in South Africa. In the long run, the only good that came out of his tenure was for his own nest as he pleaded guilty to all charges but with particular reference to the non-disclosure and receipt of bonuses from the 2009 Indian Premier League (IPL) hosted in SA, the ICC Champion Trophy and abuse of his travel allowance.

Advocate Karel Tip SC handed down the sanction and recommended CSA dismiss Majola with immediate effect. This was subsequently done, but Majola’s lawyer, Pumezo David, took the decision to the Labour Court.

This after Majola had withdrawn from the hearing, questioning the process and saying CSA had cleared him of any wrongdoing relating to the charges against him.

It was surprising that Majola went ahead with his appeal against his dismissal. He had been granted the opportunity to clear his name, but withdrew from the proceedings. However, it proved fruitless when the Labour Court ruled in favour of CSA.

Majola was appealing against the findings of the Nicholson Commission of Inquiry, which found he had breached the Companies Act by authorising R4,7 million to be paid in bonuses to CSA staff without approval from the CSA board.

He had unsuccessfully sought an order against Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, who had appointed the commission of inquiry and sought to set aside the CSA disciplinary proceedings that had resulted from the commission’s findings.

Majola wanted his job back and was prepared to put his hands up in a plea of ignorance and humility, hoping it would be enough to see him recalled to the crease for another knock.

It was not to be. Haroon Lorgat was appointed as new CEO in July this year and CSA has turned over a new leaf. CSA president Chris Nenzani said he was pleased the matter had been laid to rest, the court had made a decision and that CSA could look to the future.

“With Lorgat and a new board in place, we are sensing renewed enthusiasm across the country when it comes to cricket administration. We feel we are achieving our goal of restoring people’s faith and confidence in CSA,” he said.

Judgment yesterday was passed with costs being awarded against Majola.

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