Johannesburg: Cricket South Africa slumped from earning a profit of Rand 295 million to a loss of R 47 million in the 2012 fiscal year as sponsors increasingly shied away in the wake of huge internal squabbling over IPL 2 bonuses paid allegedly by the former chief executive Gerald Majola to himself and other CSA staff.
The figures were disclosed in a statement from CSA after its annual general meeting (AGM) here on Saturday. "Because of the reliance on broadcast income there will be a loss again next year and thereafter the company will return a substantial profit," CSA said as it tried to justify the loss, but Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile April Mbalula was more forthright in his opening address at the AGM.
In a hard-hitting speech delivered on his behalf by his Deputy, Gert Oosthuizen, Mbalula hit out at the 'shenanigans' within CSA that forced him to establish the Nicholson Inquiry. The inquiry pointed finger to now dismissed chief executive of CSA Gerald Majola as having paid himself and other CSA staff huge unauthorised bonuses from the IPL 2.
The Twenty20 tournament was played in South Africa due to security concerns around elections at that time in India. "Our Constitution enjoins us to manage and lead the sport fraternity in a manner and spirit that minimises that interference by one entity into the other," Mbalula said.
"However, the Constitution equally enjoins and empowers Government to intervene in particular situations, in Federations or sport bodies, where there is evidence of conflict, maladministration and mismanagement," he added.
"More so where there are allegations of corruption and embezzlement," Mbalula said as he lauded the changes being implemented by CSA to effect transformation. "We will as from today become a beacon of hope to all the sporting nations in the world. This is because the Judge Nicholson Judgment and Recommendations lay a new foundation for sport law in South Africa and abroad. It has entrenched a new corporate governance model in sport and recreation in our country," he said.
The Minister was referring to the implementation of the recommendations by the Nicholson Inquiry about changes to the structure of the CSA Board. Five independent directors were elected, including controversial former President of CSA Norman Arendse. They will join five non-independent directors from within the ranks of CSA affiliates on the Board.
Chris Nenzani was elected as the new President of CSA and Dr Peter Cyster as Vice-President Nenzani will automatically serve as chairman of the Board of Directors as well. Mbalula said he had witnessed "witnessed with dismay the public spat that had engulfed Cricket South Africa and that was beginning to cause damage to brand South Africa locally and internationally".
Mbalula said he even had to intervene by calling Proteas captain Graham Smith to order on the eve of the 2011 World Cup in India. "I am the only person who called upon (Smith) and the Proteas players to refrain from entering the fray and focus on the preparations for the ICC World Cup.
"I am the only person who had to contend with numerous complaints from sponsors of Cricket South Africa who were threatening to withdraw their sponsorship if the allegations levelled against certain individuals within CSA where not tested and investigated through a transparent, credible, and fair and open process," he said.
Mbalula called on the incoming Board to give priority to funding for cricket development, especially among women, the differently-abled and in rural communities.