Unauthorised CSA bonuses started before IPL 2: Ex board member

This fact emerged when former chairman of the Remuneration Committee of the CSA board Paul Harris testified on the first day of the open hearings at the inquiry headed up by Judge Chris Nicholson.

The hearing was closed for the media when it started on Wednesday, but against threat of action from the media organisations, Nicholson moved it to a bigger venue and allowed them access.

Harris had blown the whistle on huge bonuses that the CSA paid to chief executive Gerald Majola and other Board executives without the sanction of the board for the IPL 2, which was hosted in South Africa two years ago because of security concerns in India at the time due to elections.

Harris, who was subsequently dropped from the Board, told the inquiry that similar unauthorised payments could have started already when the Twenty20 World Cup was hosted in South Africa in 2007, when the director of the tournament Steve Elworthy, who has since left CSA, got a bonus.

"The money was meant to come to CSA and then be dispersed. I believe that it created a precedent of non-disclosure of payments," he said.

Harris also gave details of how despite a recommendation by his committee that bonuses for staff members be capped at three times their monthly salaries, and for executives at 25 per cent of their previous year's salary, Majola got a bonus of eight times his annual salary and former chief operating officer Don McIntosh received six times his monthly salary.

Majola also had an annual travel allowance of One million Rands, which the former head of remuneration at the CSA board said could "only be described as ridiculous and would never have been approved by (the remuneration committee)".

While the Board of Control for Cricket in India had paid CSA 3.8 million Rands for staff bonuses, only 2.7 million Rands had been paid out.

The minister instituted the inquiry after almost two years of acrid in-fighting at CSA, which saw its President Mtutuzeli Nyoka, who queried the bonuses, twice removed from office and sponsors withdrawing their support.

Mbalula had requested the inquiry to deliver its findings before Christmas, but Nicholson indicated earlier that the Committee may require more time.

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