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Wed Dec 07 20:16:08 SAST 2016

Cricket SA must show some spine and act on Majola

The Editor, The Times Newspaper | 2012-03-15 00:25:19.0

The Times Editorial: Gerald Majola is a difficult man to get out. Like one of those gritty batsmen who is all solid bat-and-pad defence with unshakeable powers of concentration, the CEO of Cricket SA is defending his wicket as if his very life depended on it - which it probably does, if it's his professional life.

Yesterday Majola again revealed what a redoubtable opponent he can be. The entire country, it seems, wants him out. He has brought cricket's reputation to a low point at which fingers of suspicion are pointed at it virtually every day. The game has been unable to attract a top-line sponsor since the scandal of bonus payments began to sink into the nation's consciousness.

When Judge Chris Nicholson's committee recommended last week that Majola face severe sanction, it seemed that his resignation, or suspension at the very least, was imminent. Yesterday he defied that prediction with a verbal assault on the judge, and an application that he be sent on holiday so that he can prepare his defence.

Just how Majola's employers - the board of Cricket SA - will respond to his latest tactic might be revealed on Saturday but it is clear that he again has the members in a corner. They have been afraid to act against him despite overwhelming evidence of poor management, reckless financial dealings (he paid himself a bonus of R1.8-million without permission, for goodness' sake!) and acting as if he were accountable to no one.

The board will now need to show the spine it has so far lacked for the crisis to be resolved. There appear to be some stirrings in that direction, but who can tell? They have buckled under Majola before.

The board needs the courage to act decisively by suspending Majola and then applying for an independent person to conduct his disciplinary hearing. Pay Majola his salary during this time, by all means - but be aware that also paying his legal costs would be another scandal.

Majola needs to fight that battle on his own.

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