GERALD Majola's lawyers are set to ask John Myburgh to recuse himself as the independent chairman for the suspended Cricket SA (CSA) CE's disciplinary hearing.
The move comes in the wake of Myburgh's advisory award (preliminary finding) in CSA's favour, seen as an indication that Majola could come off second best at a hearing.
His lawyers say Majola does not have faith in the current process and is likely to take his case to court.
Majola's lawyers have also questioned the significance of the advisory award, which is not binding, and expressed their dismay at the release of the information to the public at a press conference that followed a CSA board meeting in Johannesburg on Friday.
"We've made it clear to CSA's representatives that we reject Myburgh's advice in its entirety," Pumezo David, a director of Johannesburg-based law firm Knowles Husain Lindsay, which is representing Majola in the disciplinary action, said yesterday.
"We are prepared to enter the process and are waiting to hear from CSA's attorneys. The next process would be to deal with preliminary issues which will include a formal application for the recusal of Myburgh, should CSA persist with him being chair of the hearing."
In May, Majola's lawyers tried and failed to have Mr Myburgh removed as independent chairman.
"This (advisory award) was obtained after we objected to Adv Myburgh hearing this matter in an attempt to resolve both the issue of what we regarded as an irregular appointment and to finally dispose of the matter," Majola's longstanding legal representative, Max Boqwana, said. "We have enormous respect for the person of John Myburgh. We believe, though, that his appointment in this matter leaves much to be desired.
"Our client is very clear that he will never receive a fair hearing under the current machinations of CSA, and that is why he is already looking forward to challenging this matter in a court of law and not in a forum under the control and funding of the CSA."
CSA acting president Willie Basson said on Friday that "the advisory award went very much in our favour, so it is very positive that we hold the moral high ground".
Boqwana saw things differently: "The advisory award means exactly that. It is not binding to any of the parties and is meaningless if one or both parties reject it.
"It is disingenuous of CSA to attempt to score cheap points in this matter. This was meant to be a confidential process until such time that the parties agreed to publish it, and this publicity now comes as a shock to our client."
Majola was suspended on the recommendation of a report by retired judge Christopher Nicholson, who was appointed by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula to investigate the payment of R4,7m in improperly declared bonuses to CSA staff members. The money came from the organisers of the 2009 Indian Premier League. Majola's share was R1,8m.
The probe came after Majola survived an internal investigation and an independent forensic audit.
"(CSA) are the ones who authorised the so-called bonus to our client, stood by that position for more than two years, and now only under the pressure from the minister are proceeding with a half-hearted disciplinary process," Boqwana said. " ... (our) client needs an opportunity to clear his name, expose what he has done for cricket, confront his detractors and expose their evil agenda. This is not about the so-called bonus. If it was, then the board would not have sanctioned it (the bonus), not in one meeting but three board meetings," he said.
Boqwana suggested Majola had been the victim of a conspiracy.
"(Our) client's name has been severely tarnished by a media campaign run by some board members in collusion with their friends in the media. (He) has never been given an opportunity to state his case and confront his advisers."