CSA saga 'worse than Hansie'

Cape Town - Former CSA president Norman Arendse said the damage the bonus saga had done to the image of cricket in South Africa "could be worse" than when former Proteas skipper Hansie Cronje accepted bribes to influence the outcome of matches in the late 1990s.

According to Beeld, Arendse told Judge Chris Nicholson, who heads the inquiry into CSA's bonus scandal, that the debacle has already cost CSA between R10 and R12 million and the people responsible should be accounted for.

CSA CEO Gerald Majola last year admitted that he did not declare his bonuses of R1,8 million - which he got for the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Champions League in 2009 - as the Companies' Act stipulates. Majola claims he did not understand the law.

And SAPA reports that Arendse said Majola should be placed on special leave or suspended.

Arendse said an acting CEO should subsequently be put in place pending the results of an independent disciplinary committee.

He said the current debacle surrounding CSA was indicative of what he had experienced during his time at the cricket body with Majola.

"All of us involved in cricket have created this environment; it is like the Frankenstein that is out of control," Arendse said.

"Because you allowed the CEO to get away with it."

Arendse said Majola protected the interests of sponsors and the national team because, "the performance of the national team, that is all that matters".

This was due to the national side being the main source of CSA's income, and prioritising their performance above the needs of grassroots cricket.

The manner in which the CSA board and Majola interacted with each other was a case of the tail wagging the dog.

Arendse cited two occasions where Majola overstepped his authority as president while still at the cricket body.

The first instance, Arendse said, was the dispute over the composition of the national side to face Bangladesh in 2008.

At the time, he queried the demographic composition of the team.

"Cricket SA has a selection policy which asks for targeted transformation in terms of the CSA policy; when we select 15 players to play overseas we must have a minimum of seven black players and that team had five," Arendse said.

He said he had to use his power of veto when the team was not selected according to CSA’s policy.

Majola, however, countermanded this and said in a news release that Arendse did not have the right to veto and reinstated the team initially selected.

Arendse said the second occasion related to a decision taken to remove the captain and coach from the selection committee shortly after the selection dispute.

Majola did not have the authority to make those decisions, prompting his resignation as CSA president in September 2008, Arendse said.

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