Report on South African cricket body alleges corruption

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (The Southern African Times) — Investigators have recommended that the South African cricket body consider registering a criminal case against its fired CEO and others for corruption regarding a $212,00 payment made to a company that failed to deliver any services.

It was one of numerous allegations of wrongdoing against former CEO Thabang Moroe contained in a forensic report that Cricket South Africa initially refused to make public. The cricket body partly relented and released a summary of the findings of an independent investigation team on Monday after two months of pressure from the public and the government.

CSA received the report in late July and fired Moroe for “serious misconduct” in August without detailing the misconduct. The report summary laid out some of that wrongdoing.

The corruption allegations surround a fee paid to an unnamed contractor — the report called it “Service Provider X” — to help CSA make money through corporate sponsorship deals. The agreement was spearheaded by Moroe and CSA’s former chief operating officer, Naasei Appiah. Despite “Service Provider X” receiving more than $200,000, there was “no evidence of delivery of services,” the report said.

The investigators found Moroe had failed to follow “procurement processes” and recommended a criminal case be registered under South Africa’s anti-corruption laws to allow police to investigate the deal further.

In other findings, the investigators concluded that Moroe failed to ensure due diligence was conducted when CSA signed a media and commercial rights deal with a company to market the Mzansi Super League, South Africa’s domestic Twenty20 competition. CSA is set to lose at least $750,000 because of the deal, and possibly as much as $1.6 million, according to the report.

Moroe also used a CSA credit card to spend nearly $4,000 on alcohol, the report said. Appiah spent $12,000 of company money on alcohol. Appiah was also fired in August.

And Moroe was responsible for revoking the accreditation of five journalists who were viewed as overly critical by CSA. CSA’s move to prevent the journalists from entering any cricket stadiums last year backfired badly and led to a public outcry against the cricket body for its attack on the freedom of the media.

Cricket South Africa’s reputation has been shattered by the scandals and the country’s quasi-government South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee wants to conduct its own investigation. It has asked the sports ministry to help it do that. That government interference would put South Africa’s team, once the top-ranked test team in the world, in danger of being banned by the International Cricket Council.

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