Cricket probe re-opened to media

2011-11-24 07:51

A probe into the financial affairs of Cricket SA will be open to the media from today after the judge heading the inquiry found a larger room to accommodate reporters.

Manase Makwela, spokesperson for Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, said the inquiry committee had heard a presentation by KPMG yesterday, but the remainder of the oral reports would be open to the media.

“The Judge [Chris Nicholson] said today the media were not allowed in, but he has changed his mind, and they will be allowed in from tomorrow,” Makwela said last night.

Mbalula invited the media to attend the first day of the inquiry in Pretoria yesterday morning, but journalists were then thrown out.

Nicholson, the man heading up the probe, barred all journalists as they arrived, telling them they could get the information from transcripts to be released today.

Meanwhile, lawyers representing the SA National Editors Forum (Sanef), had been assured the probe would be opened to the media, according to a Sport24 report yesterday.

“Judge [Chris] Nicholson informed me that the reason that he didn’t allow journalists access was that the room wasn’t big enough,” Dario Milo of Webber Wentzel told the website.

“He has given us the undertaking, as Sanef, that a bigger room will be found and that the inquiry won’t proceed until the journalists can be accommodated.”

The inquiry was announced by Mbalula on November 4 after a KPMG report recommended that CSA’s remuneration and travel allowance policy be reviewed.

This, after it found a reported non-disclosure of bonus payments to CSA employees.

The KPMG report found that the bonuses were kept secret from Cricket SA’s remuneration committee, with CSA chief executive Gerald Majola breaching the Companies Act on at least four occasions, and paying himself R1.8 million from the R4.7 million in bonuses.

The inquiry committee includes two senior government officials from the National Treasury – accountant-general Freeman Nomvalo and chief director Zoliswa Zwakala.

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