Will Majola still be in after ministerial inquiry?

2011-12-03 17:52

Internal audit and forensic KPMG probe have not yielded results

Can Gerald Majola survive as CEO of Cricket South Africa (CSA)?

This is the big question following two weeks of oral presentations to the ministerial committee of inquiry into cricket chaired by Judge Chris Nicholson.

Majola still has his day before the committee on Wednesday and his detractors are wondering if he has an ace up his sleeve.

Evidence led by former CSA president Dr Mtutuzeli Nyoka, former remunerations committee (Remco) heads Paul Harris and Thandeka Mgoduso last week, painted Majola into a corner.

This week’s presentations from audit committee chairperson John Blair, Easterns Cricket Union president Andrew O’Connor, former chief operations officer Don McIntosh, chief financial officer Nassei Appiah, head of legal and governance committee Ajay Sooklal and acting president AK Khan, that were supposed to be in Majola’s defence, left more questions than answers.

Nyoka’s evidence showed Majola to be a conniving, untrustworthy person and he even called him a divisive “liar”.

Blair said Majola was not a trained CEO and thus not schooled in the nuances of the Companies Act, which he is accused of having breached on at least four occasions.

This could come back to haunt the embattled CEO, who has been in his position for 10 years, when his turn comes this week.

Blair also said Majola did not declare his R1.47 million bonus to the Remco but this was justified as bonuses had not been declared to the committee before.

Blair’s saying Majola did not know what was required of him as a director could also be a serious indictment of the CEO’s leadership.

Blair said: “The only thing he had done wrong in our view was that he had not spoken to the Remco. He had not disclosed to the Remco in a formal way in a meeting or in a written response that, in fact, he had paid or they had received bonuses but he should have disclosed it.”

McIntosh’s defence for Majola could also be clouded by the fact that he also received an undisclosed bonus of R1.13 million.

While saying it was Majola’s responsibility to notify the Remco about the bonuses, he also blamed the committee for being inactive and lacking proper policies and procedures.

He further said Majola was the only one who knew about his bonus, and not the Remco.

“I dealt with Gerald (Majola) as my superior. In terms of disclosure, I disclosed everything to him,” McIntosh told the commission.

Sooklal also painted an ugly picture when he testified how he stormed out of a meeting after Majola had determined his own sanction over the bonus saga.

“I walked out because of how the proceedings played out,” he said. “A farcical situation arose when the board mandated four members and I to deliberate with Majola and his legal team as to whether the sanction decided by the board was appropriate.

“I thought it was laughable to have an informal disciplinary hearing and then ask the employee whether he was satisfied with the sanction.”

Appiah said though the disclosure of the bonuses was done at a board meeting, it was in contravention of the Companies Act which required them to be disclosed in the director’s emoluments form.

“There was some disclosure but it may not have been as adequate as required by the Companies’ Act. He might have been incorrect procedurally but we weren’t going to tick off everything in the Companies’ Act,” he said.

Appiah also said Nyoka’s initial allegations of a missing R68 million were unfounded.

The inquiry enters its final week tomorrow with former audit committee chairperson Colin Beggs, who notified Nyoka about the bonuses after an internal audit, scheduled to appear.

Finance committee chairperson John Bester – who was a key player in the setting up of the Khan Commission, the internal structure that gave Majola a slap on the wrist – will also tesify.

Majola refused to comment yesterday, saying it would be improper as he still had to testify.

The committee was set up by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula following complaints that the internal hearing as well as a forensic audit by accounting firm KPMG had failed to yield results.

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