Johannesburg: South Africa's cricket body bowed to pressure on Wednesday and agreed to allow external auditors to examine its finances after allegations that 68 million rand ($10 million) earmarked for the 2009 Indian Premier League went missing from its accounts.
At an extraordinary meeting of its board at a Johannesburg airport hotel, Cricket South Africa said it had decided "to institute an external investigation including a forensic audit" in response to allegations of missing money and of improper bonuses paid to its chief executive and up to 40 staff members.
The troubled body also reinstated its president — who made the allegations — after a court ruled his sacking was improper.
Mtutuzeli Nyoka was fired after a vote of no confidence in February, and alleged in court papers that funds went missing from CSA's accounts following the 2009 IPL. The tournament was moved to South Africa because of terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
CSA denied any wrongdoing and said the money did not appear in its regular accounts because it belonged to IPL organizers the Board of Control for Cricket in India. CSA said it was used to pay for running costs for the tournament.
However, the cricket body did concede it would not appeal Nyoka's reinstatement last month by the South Gauteng High Court.
"The board has agreed, in the interests of cricket, to abide the judgment handed down," CSA said in a statement soon after the meeting. "Accordingly, Dr M Nyoka has been reinstated as president and chairman of the board of directors with immediate effect. The meeting unanimously agreed to abandon any appeal process in relation to the judgment."
Nyoka had long called for an external audit into the national cricket body's accounts and also questioned the bonuses reportedly paid to chief executive Gerald Majola and other CSA staff.
"It is a great outcome for all concerned, especially cricket," Nyoka told The Associated Press. "It (an external audit) is something I have been consistent about."
CSA spokesman Michael Owen-Smith said the audit would be carried out by an independent accounting firm, which would probably be named next week.
Wednesday's meeting was also attended by representatives of the government's Department of Sport and Recreation and South Africa's Olympic committee, SASCOC, who were observers, Owen-Smith said.
Both those bodies had called for CSA to resolve its problems, which are believed to be complicated by a breakdown in the relationship between Nyoka and Majola.
CSA said it now wanted to move forward with a united front "for the sake of cricket unity and in the best interests of the game."
South Africa's athletics federation was recently subjected to a yearlong forensic audit, which was overseen by SASCOC.
It eventually ended in February with sanctions for its president, Leonard Chuene, and two other senior staff members for financial misconduct, among other things. Chuene was sacked and barred from holding any role in sports for seven years.
CSA's problems follow another poor World Cup showing for South Africa. CSA is also in the midst of choosing a new national team coach and will begin interviewing a shortlist of candidates on May 16.