It’s finally over – Gerald Majola has been dismissed by CSA with immediate effect after a saga which dragged on for nearly three years. It’s a small step for CSA, but a giant leap for cricket in the country. By ANT SIMS.
After a very dragged-out and very public flogging, Gerald Majola’s chickens have finally come home to roost. He has been fired as CEO of Cricket South Africa with immediate effect – after being found guilty on all nine charges of being, well, dodgy.
Majola withdrew from the hearing last week and despite being invited to appear before chairperson Karel Tip for the decision on 17 October, he declined to do so. The former CEO also had the opportunity to appear at the verdict on Friday to present his version, but Majola and his legal team were nowhere to be seen. The chairperson issued the findings on sanctions and they were accepted by CSA.
"The disciplinary chairperson issued his findings on sanction which CSA will implement with immediate effect," CSA said in a statement on Friday.
"The sanction handed down by Advocate Karel Tip SC was that Majola is dismissed from his service with CSA with immediate effect."
Majola's lawyer, Pumezo David, said he had set aside the disciplinary hearing and had formally opposed it through the Labour Court.
David confirmed that all the respondents in their Labour Court application, which included CSA and President Jacob Zuma, had been furnished with papers and had until October 29 to respond.
Nicholas Preston, CSA's lawyer, said he could not comment on Majola's Labour Court application yet, but was certain CSA would oppose it.
This closes the innings on a saga which has dragged on for almost three years and centred around R4.7 million in bonuses which were paid to Majola and 29 other staff members after South Africa hosted the 2009 Indian Premier League. The money was not properly declared to the board and it contravened the principles of corporate governance.
Those who form part of CSA’s brains trust must have let out a collective sigh of relief. It looked at one stage that the saga had tainted the governing body’s reputation severely at one point with CSA struggling to find sponsorships for some of their competitions and with increased discontent from the fans rumbling on. It’s all over now, though, a chapter CSA most likely want to close and forget and while it might seem like a small step for them, it’s a great step forward for South African cricket as a whole.
Acting CEO Jacques Faul has done a tremendous job during his tenure at the helm of CSA and while there are many more creases to iron out, Faul has a good head on his shoulders and he is determined to make the organisation work, not just for those in power but for all those involved in the game.
Under his guidance and with the help of a newly appointed media and corporate relations team, CSA have brought in some big name sponsors for the upcoming season for both their domestic and their international teams – a commendable feat during the tough economic climate.
While faith in the governing body had largely fallen by the wayside when the scandal first broke, it seems that it’s slowly but surely being restored, and with the Proteas’ recent surge to number one in the Test rankings, cricket in the country can only go from strength to strength. If the past few months are anything to go by, the future looks bright – for an organisation which just a few months ago couldn’t even find somebody to sponsor their premier domestic one-day competition.
The ruling also sends a clear message to those involved in the sport: overstep the line and you will get caught and be made to pay, even if it takes three years. DM
Photo: Then-Cricket South Africa (CSA) CEO Gerald Majola (L), and Gary Kirsten arrive for a news conference in Johannesburg, June 6, 2011. (REUTERS)