Tax authorities to audit South African IPL bonuses: Report

Johannesburg: South African tax authorities will conduct a full audit of Cricket South Africa (CSA), including the controversial Indian Premier League bonuses paid to the management and staff in 2009, a report said on Friday.

According to `Business Day`, the South African Revenue Services (SARS) audit will be done separately from independent investigation into the IPL bonuses that was agreed to by CSA last week despite its being initially shelved in favour of an internal inquiry.

CSA President Dr Mtutuzeli Nyoka was ousted after he challenged bonuses of several million and paid to CSA chief executive Gerald Majola and other CSA staff.

He was subsequently dismissed in absentia, but took it to the high court which ordered his reinstatement.

Nyoka is now pressing ahead with his plans to have an external inquiry after the internal one had cleared Majola of any serious wrongdoing in relation to the IPL bonuses.

During the bitter struggle following Nyoka`s initial call, he had publicly accused Majola of lying to him about his IPL bonus, but the pair sealed an uneasy truce last week as CSA agreed to open up its books to external examination.

Now SARS is reportedly also looking into whether the IPL bonuses which were not declared to the CSA Board complied with taxation law requirements.

The recipients were paid CSA bonuses for their role in the success of the IPL 2 but also got additional bonuses from the IPL, some of which have been repaid by staff.

Although Nyoka claimed he was not aware of any SARS audit, CSA media liaison officer Michael Owen-Smith admitted to the daily that there was such a move.

SARS would not confirm the audit.

Citing confidentiality clauses in tax laws, SARS spokesman Adrian Lackay told Business Day: "SARS cannot make public pronouncements on the tax affairs of CSA (Which) is a duly registered tax entity (and) is entitled to the protection of its rights of confidentiality about its tax affairs."

Leading advocate Ishmael Semenya, who is also a member of the CSA Board`s legal and governance committee, will head the process of appointing external auditors by next week.

"These allegations are not compatible with the image that CSA needs to have," Semenya said amid speculation that CSA wanted the process to be completed before the Proteas start their new season in October with a Twenty20 match against Australia.