Majola should face possible criminal charges-committee

Pretoria (South Africa): Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Gerald Majola should face possible criminal charges and be suspended for accepting and distributing unauthorised bonuses, an inquiry committee set up by the government recommended on Friday.

Retired judge Chris Nicholson headed the committee, which was commissioned by sports minister Fikile Mbalula to probe the way in which 4.7 million rand in unauthorised bonus money was paid to CSA staff after South Africa hosted the Indian Premier League (IPL) and ICC Champions Trophy in 2009.

Despite being cleared of any wrongdoing by an internal CSA inquiry, Nicholson said the committee found that Majola had "surreptitiously" received bonus payments adding up to 1.78 million rand and that there was a "prima facie case that Majola had... contravened the Companies Act".

"These matters should be referred to the office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions for (possible) prosecution," Nicholson told a news conference after handing over the committee`s findings to Mbalula.

Nicholson added that the committee recommended Majola should be suspended and civil proceedings be launched to recover the bonus money.

Majola`s contract provides for suspension with pay for up to 180 days pending the conclusion of a disciplinary inquiry.

Nicholson also said evidence gathered by his committee showed that Majola, and not former CSA chief operating officer Don McIntosh as Majola had claimed, was behind the awarding of the bonuses.

"We have found there was maladministration in CSA in relation to payment of bonuses to officials in respect of the IPL and Champions Trophy and that this was in contravention of sections... of the Companies Act," said Nicholson.

"If Majola wants to resign that`s up to him but he should have faced an independent inquiry (in the first place).

"Majola must have (the) chance to have his day in court."

CSA said it would study the committee`s findings before reporting back to Mbalula by April 9.

Bureau Report

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