Majola's challenge dismissed

South African cricket's disgraced former chief executive failed to get his job back after he was fired last year for paying himself and others unauthorized bonuses and then concealing them. The Labor Court in Johannesburg dismissed Gerald Majola's appeal against his firing and the findings of disciplinary proceedings against him in 2012, Cricket South Africa said. "CSA is pleased that this matter is over and that we can now focus on the future," CSA president Chris Nenzani said in a statement. Majola lost his job in October when a disciplinary panel found him guilty of nine charges relating to the misuse of CSA funds. The panel ruled he had paid unauthorized bonuses to himself and other staff members with money from South Africa's hosting of the 2009 Indian Premier League tournament. He had been suspended earlier in 2012.

Majola withdrew from his disciplinary hearing and refused to attend its final days, questioning its legitimacy. CSA still found that he paid himself 1.7 million rand (then $195,000) and lied about it, and misused his travel allowance. Majola also paid 4.7 million rand (then $540,000) to other members of CSA staff. The payments were not authorized by the national cricket body's finance committee.

Majola was permanently replaced at CSA by former International Cricket Council chief executive Haroon Lorgat in July. Reacting to the court dismissing Majola's legal challenge, Lorgat told Eyewitness News in South Africa that "the sooner we can get the focus back to cricket, the better for all of us." "What's important is we can bring closure to it," Lorgat said. "What has transpired over the last few years has not been good for cricket." South Africa, the world's top-ranked test team, hosts India and Australia in series at the end of this year and the beginning of 2014.