Judge appointed to probe Cricket SA saga

Friday, November 4, 2011

Johannesburg - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula has appointed Judge Christopher Nicholson as the chairperson of a committee to investigate the financial irregularities at Cricket South Africa (CSA).

"We wish to re-iterate ... that as we appoint the Ministerial Committee of Enquiry, we do so in the best interest of the athletes and sport in general.

"We do not wish to act on a full-blown Commission of Enquiry against CSA, as we believe that we can still find each other. We are hopeful that we will work together to ensure that the process unfolds with our support and consequently reach an amicable solution to the problems that have rocked CSA," he said.

Judge Nicholson will be assisted by National Treasury Accountant-General Freeman Nomvalo and Zoliswa Zwakala, who is Chief Director of Internal Audit at National Treasury.

Nicholson is an experienced judge who served on the bench of the KwaZulu-Natal High Court for a period of 15 years.

Newly appointed Director-General Alec Moemi, who outlined the Ministerial Committee's terms of reference, said the committee must investigate the failure by CSA to adhere to certain recommendations of KPMG and legal opinion on the forensic audit on the financial affairs of the federation.

The committee will investigate and report on maladministration in CSA in relation to the payment of bonuses to officials in respect of the hosting of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and circumstances surrounding those payments.

It will also investigate whether those bonuses were made in contravention of any law as well as non-compliance with legal advice from KPMG.

"The committee will also investigate and report on any irregularities discovered during the KPMG investigation. They will also analyse any relevant documents relating to its terms of reference and to do the necessary interrogations on the basis thereof," Moemi said.

Nicholson and his team will also conduct an enquiry into assets and report on the effectiveness and efficiency of the current administration of CSA as well as recommend ways to eliminate deficiencies identified.

They will also recommend systems, practices and procedures to improve the administration of CSA and Mbalula said the committee, which will start operating tomorrow, is expected to finish its work within a period of one month.

"By the time we go for Christmas, we must know where we stand regarding this issue," he said.

Chief Executive Officer of the South Africa's Olympic Governing Body (SASCOC), Tubby Reddy, met and briefed the minister on the allegations made by the removed President of CSA Dr Mtutuzeli Nyoka. These included R68 million allegedly not accounted for, alleged misappropriation of funds and non-disclosure of bonus payments.

CSA had earlier appointed KPMG to do a forensic audit on the bonuses paid to the employees of the federation and the KPMG report recommended that the remuneration and travel allowance policy of Cricket SA must be reviewed.

CSA accepted the KPMG forensic report regarding possible irregular conduct relative to the Companies Act and the fiduciary duties of directors.

SASCOC and CSA mandated Adv. A Bham SC to draft and formulate a legal opinion and it endorsed that section 234 and 335 of the Companies Act were breached by CSA chief executive officer Gerald Majola.

A second legal opinion also aligned with Adv Bham's legal opinion and it further recommended that consideration be given to recover the bonus paid to Majola.