Forensic investigators uncovers excessive use of CSA credit card

12 September 2020 - 11:58 By Tiisetso Malepa
Suspended CSA Chief Executive Officer, Thabang Moroe.
Suspended CSA Chief Executive Officer, Thabang Moroe.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Forensic investigators who conducted an audit at Cricket South Africa (CSA) have uncovered that credit card spending by executives often racked up amounts ranging from R20‚000 to R47‚000 in one sitting just on alcohol for business engagements.

This was revealed during the forensic investigators’ consultative session with former president Chris Nenzani in June when investigators wanted clarity on the CSA policy and guidelines on the usage of company credit cards.

The investigators discovered that former chief executive Thabang Moroe‚ who was fired three weeks ago for “serious misconduct” spend a “huge sum of money in buying alcohol‚ in celebrating his birthday (on 6 January 2018)” in Cape Town.

The investigators asked Nenzani if that was a proper item to purchase or proper utilisation of the CSA credit card.

“It cannot be‚ it cannot be proper‚ because the credit card is given to a person as a facility to use when that person is doing the official business of the organization‚ not personal business‚ so‚ celebrating one’s birthday cannot be covered‚ cannot be paid for by the company credit card‚” said Nenzani.

Fundudzi Forensic Services handed their report to CSA two months ago but the near-500 page dossier has been kept under lock and key and has not been made to the public or the media.

But TimesLIVE got hold of a transcript of a session between Nenzani and the investigators that has shed some light on the scope that the forensic probe has covered.

The investigators asked Nenzani if there was any policy or guidelines in terms of credit card usage and why the executives would spend between a range of R20‚000 and even R47‚000 just on alcohol for business engagement.

“The issue of credit card‚ have been managed by the office of the chief financial officer (CFO) and chief operating officer (COO)‚ and it would be determined‚ by who becomes entitled‚ so to say‚ or to get a credit card‚ that is a decision made by the CFO and the COO.

“And surely the issue of purchase of alcohol on company credit card‚ for events‚ and not linked to the organization‚ would be determined by credit card regulations that would have been drafted by the issuer of the credit card or the assigner of the credit card‚ and the person concerned.

“But ordinarily‚ if you had to asked as a person‚ that would not be right‚ in the interest of the company to spend exorbitant amounts of money‚ on the company credit cards‚ on alcohol‚” Nenzani’s answered. TimesLIVE can reveal that CSA had not written policy specifically related to the usage of credit cards until it was put in place after a decision was made for a forensic investigation.

Sources in the employ of CSA‚ who spoke to TimesLIVE this week on condition their names are not revealed‚ were not alarmed by the bills the company credit cards were racking up including on alcohol.

“So on January 6‚ on Thabang’s birthday‚ staff members went out with him. It was not his birthday party so to speak‚ well it was his birthday‚ but it coincided with one of the CSA gala dinners that happen during the course of the Test‚” said one source.

“It was basically a staff outing. It was on the last day of the Test match against Pakistan when Pakistan toured two years ago at Newlands and the event was somewhere in the Cape Town CBD.

“It is a norm for CSA to have gala events during the course of a tour match and company credit cards more often than not get used for such. The nature of our business is that we are on the road most of the time‚” said another insider.

“We are in the events and entertainment space as an organisation. When you look at any CSA event we have something like launch dinners or gala events. That happens all the time.

“For example‚ CSA would have spent R50‚000 on one of the launch events of the Mzansi Super League (MSL) and I would not be surprised if a credit card was used for such. It has happened before and it will happen again unless there is a guideline policy that says this amount cannot be exceeded. But there’s a general policy within our code that says no company assets can be used for the personal benefit on an individual.”

Another informant said “one of the Mzansi Super League events cost CSA less because it was launched in Soweto.

Somebody did not like it that such an amount was spent in Soweto but would have been happy if the event was held in Illovo for probably a higher amount.

“It is one of those things that unfortunately were used against Thabang when it comes to the credit card issue. It is no different to when CSA spent R1‚5m on a London hotel for the T20GL that never saw the light of day. Sometimes we will host clients or guests at a venue we did not book and credit cards will be used for alcohol and things like that.”

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