Majola dismissed by Cricket South Africa over IPL bonuses
Johannesburg: Suspended Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Gerald Majola has been dismissed with immediate effect for his part in the IPL II bonuses that he paid to himself and other CSA staff, following a disciplinary hearing.
Majola has taken his employers to the Labour Court to challenge the legality of the Nicholson inquiry, that recommended not just the disciplinary hearing but also investigation of possible criminal charges against the contentious chief.
The inquiry was instituted by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula after bitter wrangling inside CSA that saw its president Mtutuzeli Nyoka suspended twice in absentia after he queried the IPL bonuses.
IPL 2 was played in South Africa after hurried negotiations between Majola and then IPL supremo Lalit Modi due to security concerns around elections in India at that time.
The disciplinary hearing under the Independent Chairmanship of Advocate Karel Tip continued after Majola refused to return to the hearing and his legal team was advised that it would proceed in his absence.
Tip also made it clear to Majola and his legal team that, if they left, he would have to reach his findings on the charges without the benefit of cross-examination by his counsel of CSA`s witnesses.
According to CSA, Majola and his legal team indicated that they understood the consequences of their decision to withdraw but nevertheless departed.
The hearing proceeded and the chairman made his finding on the merits and found Majola guilty of all nine charges, most of them related to financial mismanagement, including the IPL 2 and Champions League bonuses.
CSA, meanwhile, said it would implement Tip's findings with immediate effect.
"While acting as CEO for CSA and in the context of a contract that he had concluded on behalf of CSA, Mr Majola negotiated large bonuses for himself and (former chief financial officer) Don McIntosh, as well as lesser bonuses for the CSA staff.
"In doing so, he willingly placed himself in a situation that constituted a manifest conflict of interest," Tip said in his ruling.
"To satisfy his fiduciary duties, it was required of (Majola) that he should first have obtained the authority of the CSA Board to negotiate these bonuses and for them to be retained by himself and the other beneficiaries.
"Mr Majola thereafter failed in any meaningful way to disclose the bonus that he received," the finding added.
Tip also found that both the IPL and Champions Trophy bonuses were neither referred to (the Remunerations Committee of CSA), nor to the Board.
"Even worse, Mr Majola expressly lied about it, avoiding more than once, that he had not received a cent."
"In doing so, he misled the Minister and Deputy Minister and, in turn, allowed Parliament to be similarly misled.
"The conduct underpinning the complaints also have this in common: they were directed towards securing financial benefits for Mr Majola to which he was not entitled, at the expense of his employer and with manifest disregard for the fiduciary duties that he owed CSA," Tip said.