19-10-2011 – The once burgeoning success of South African cricket enjoyed an enviable fan base, and acceptance with all South Africans at the cusp of...
The once burgeoning success of South African cricket enjoyed an enviable fan base, and acceptance with all South Africans at the cusp of South Africa’s acceptance on the international sporting arena. (Something not quite right with this intro)
Then came the match-fixing scandal in 2000, featuring the captain Hansie Cronje, rest his soul.
Since then, the game has bowled us over with scandals including international tournament orgies as penned by Herschel Gibbs in his book, To the Point. Each new scandal brings to the surface signs that all may not be well in the gentlemen’s game.
In the most recent not-so-tongue-in-cheek saga, a KPMG report revealed CSA top executives had breached the companies act, with transgressions amounting to breach of director’s fiduciary duties, most notably by CSA chief executive Gerald Majola.
Though Don McIntosh and Kass Naidoo (who are they) were earlier implicated in the scandal, Majola’s position and wrangling with former president in public has thrown the spotlight on him and thrust him as the main character in the affair.
Majola allegedly paid himself a bonus of R1, 8 million from a sum of R4, 7 million that came from the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the hosting of its tournament and used CSA money to pay for his wife’s and children’s travel expenses.
With sponsors withdrawing their support from CSA to protect their brands, it is clear that the CSA brand has taken a knock and could lose millions in revenues until this scandal blows over or its instigators are dealt with.
Former president Mtutuzeli Nyoka’s relentless drive to expose the truth surrounding the IPL bonus scandal made him the target of attacks relating to his competence and integrity. Nyoka’s determination eventually led to his ousting by an “an overwhelming majority” vote at a special board meeting on Saturday, the second time since August 2010.
The point suggests that more people could be implicated in the scandal, or that Majola has a hold on the board which is now protecting him. Also pointing to the depth of the scandal is that sports minister Fikile Mbalula received threats when he made it clear that he wanted to launch a probe into the bonus scandal.
The scare tactics used on Mbalula, conjure up images of mafia style operators and a story that would be the envy of thriller movie makers. One wonders how wide and deep the rot that plagues CSA goes.
Nevertheless, the sports minister’s decisive stance to subject the cricket saga to an enquiry should be commended. It’s good to see one politician walking the talk in the fight against corruption.
Corrupt elements in South African society, whether in government, private business or sport should be exposed and if need be, dealt with severely.
The public has been deceived without shame long enough. The skeletons which lurk in the CSA’s cupboard should come to light and cricket followers’ trust in the game restored. Just as important, the commission’s speedy conclusion followed by quick remedial action can lay to rest sponsors’ concerns about any potential brand damage.
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