20 July 2024 | 11:45 PM

Smoking the peace pipe ‘in the interests of cricket’

Key Takeaways

In a surprise move this week Cricket South Africa president Mtutuzeli Nyoka won more than his reinstatement: the CSA board also agreed with him on the need for an external investigation into the cricket body’s affairs.

This will include a forensic audit of the CSA’s financial affairs and can be expected to open the “Pandora’s box” Nyoka referred to in his appeal to the South Gauteng High Court against his dismissal last month. The court ruled in his favour on April 15.

At an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday night the CSA board decided Nyoka would be reinstated immediately and also ordered an external audit.

The CSA had been expected to appeal against the South Gauteng High Court’s ruling, but its resolution to accept the court’s decision was unanimous.

Nyoka fell out of favour with CSA when he questioned a R1.1-million Indian Premier League (IPL) bonus paid to chief executive Gerald Majola after South Africa hosted the IPL in 2009.

According to Nyoka’s court papers, he had recommended a bonus for Majola and congratulated him on the success of the event.

“But at no stage did Majola mention he had already received a bonus from the IPL,” the papers said.

Nyoka had also asked that an external audit of CSA be carried out by former chief justice Pius Langa. Instead, the cricket body conducted an internal audit that largely cleared Majola of any wrongdoing.

After a special general meeting of the CSA in February that Nyoka did not attend, he was axed. He then applied to the South Gauteng High Court to have the dismissal overturned, claiming it was unfair on procedural grounds.

The court’s deputy judge president, Phineas Mojapelo, said the bonus payments had unleashed a wave of events that “wrecked and strained relationships within the management of Cricket SA” and that had led to Nyoka’s axing.

Mojapelo also found that Nyoka was deliberately excluded from the meeting that decided on his dismissal.

In a statement after its extraordinary meeting this week, the board said it had agreed “in the interests of cricket” to accept the court’s judgment.

“Accordingly, Dr M Nyoka has been reinstated as president and chairman of the board of directors with immediate effect,” the statement said.

“It was resolved to institute an external investigation, including a forensic audit.”

Attempts to reach Majola for comment were unsuccessful. Nyoka said he was “pleased about the outcome”.

The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism, supported by M&G Media and the Open Society Foundation for South Africa, produced this story. All views are the centre’s. www.amabhungane.co.za.

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Before joining the amaBhungane team in 2017, Micah was the national coordinator for media freedom and diversity at the Right2Know Campaign. He holds a Masters in African Studies from Oxford University and a BA Honours in History from Wits University.

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