CSA release forensic audit in wake of firing of CEO Thabang Moroe

Thabang Moroe was sacked as CSA's chief executive following the board's forensic audit Getty Images

Cricket South Africa's interim board have released the full forensic report which the organisation used to fire former CEO Thabang Moroe. The report looks into the company's affairs since 2016 and details the activities of several staff and board members, and could lead to disciplinary action in the future.

The 456-page report was commissioned in March and completed in July, and had only been seen by three former independent directors, those on the Members' Council (the highest-decision making body made up of the 14 provincial affiliate presidents, who were willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement) and the country's sports minister Nathi Mthethwa, before Mthethwa imposed an interim board on CSA.

At first, the members' council rejected the imposition, but U-turned on that decision and have since ratified the nine-member board, which includes former CEO Haroon Lorgat. Among the first actions of the interim board was to release the un-redacted full report in the public interest.

Although releasing names was part of the reason CSA did not want to release the report - fearing it would compromise potential future litigation - the interim board explained that anyone implicated in the report would not face action until further investigations have been completed.

"The Board is alive to the fact that some individuals and organisations have concerns that they have been mentioned or implicated in the report, that some individuals have not been heard and that the report does not necessarily paint a full picture," a CSA statement read. "The Board has nevertheless concluded that it is overwhelmingly in the public interest and in the interest of CSA to release the report at this time.

"All stakeholders will be given a fair opportunity to convey their views. In addition, no action will be taken against any person implicated without a full investigation, fair procedures, and in particular everyone being given the opportunity to be heard."

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The full report mentions 45 role players - among them Moroe, former chief operations officer Naasei Appiah, former acting CEO Jacques Faul, current acting CEO Kugandrie Govender (who was in the position of chief commercial officer at the time) and former head of sales and sponsorship Clive Eksteen.

Appiah and Eksteen and Corrie van Zyl, head of cricket pathways, were suspended before Moroe, and subjected to disciplinary hearings into their roles in a delayed payment to the South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) over image rights for the first edition of the Mzansi Super League (MSL). Van Zyl won his hearing and has returned to CSA but Appiah and Eksteen have been fired and are fighting their dismissals in court.

The actions of van Zyl, Eksteen, Appiah and Moroe are all examined in detail in the report. A significant section covers negotiations, including with the Singapore-based company GSC, who were contracted to on-sell rights for the MSL and with Tinanati Management Consultancy, referred to as Service Provider X in the summary, which was made public last month.

There is also a portion of the report which looks at credit-card usage. It is acknowledged that CSA did not have a credit-card policy up to and including Moroe's tenure, though a draft has been submitted for approval this year.

Moroe and Appiah spent an equivalent of US$20,856 on alcohol. The most expensive purchase was an amount of US$3,080 at a champagne bar in Cape Town on November 26, 2018 while there was also a US$1848 purchase which the report traced back to Moroe's birthday party on January 6, 2019. Between them, Moroe and Appiah accounted for 83% of CSA's alcohol expenditure during the four years under review.

The report is available for public reading on Cricket South Africa's website. In the meanwhile, the interim board continues to work on establishing a stable governance structure for CSA. They have been appointed for an initial period of three months but several sources believe they will need at least six months to complete their task.