Cricket South Africa on Wednesday suspended some of its employees pending an inquiry into alleged dereliction of duty over the non-payment of commercial rights fees during last year's Mzansi Super League.
The CSA did not reveal the name of the officials suspended. However, a report in ESPNcricinfo stated that interim director of cricket Corrie van Zyl, chief operating officer Naasei Appiah and commercial manager Clive Eksteen have been suspended.
The name of the trio was not named by CSA but it did confirm in a statement that "employees who are alleged to have been involved in this matter have been placed on precautionary suspension until the investigation is completed, following which disciplinary action could be instituted against the affected employees".
Last week, the South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) had launched a formal dispute over unpaid fees understood to be in the region of Rand 2.4 million (approx. $164,000).
SACA alleged that the counytry's cricket board had breached an agreement to pay money for use of the players' commercial rights, which includes their images for the inaugural edition of the MSL.
"CSA is in the process of investigating this matter to determine the extent to which certain CSA employees were or were not derelict in fulfilling their duties. This is in line with the effort of ensuring that the principle of accountability is applied equally, fairly and without fear or favour throughout the organization," CSA stated in a media release.
The cricket board has acknowledged that while there was a delay initially, the matter has been "successfully and quickly" addressed. The board confirmed: "All fees due to players will be transferred to SACA with immediate effect." However, the CSA has also launched an investigation into why the money was not paid, resulting in the suspensions.
Thabang Moroe, CSA's Chief Executive commented: "CSA wants to reassure all cricket fans and all cricket stakeholders that our organisation and indeed our staff adhere to the highest ethical standards in all our dealings and that consistency and accountability remains uppermost in all our processes and procedures.
"It is our expectation that all our staff members, including third-party stakeholders who are associated with the CSA brand should protect the reputation of CSA and the sport of cricket at all times," he added.