Cricket South Africa said Wednesday it had suspended three top officials over alleged nonpayment of fees to players following the inaugural edition of Mzansi Super League last year.
The three top officials include interim director of cricket Corrie van Zyl, chief operating officer Naasie Appiah, and sponsorship head Clive Eksteen.
Van Zyl was considered as a front-runner for the full-time role of director of cricket which holds the responsibility for the national side.
The suspensions come in a crucial time for South Africa as they prepare to host England for a four-match Test series.
The officials were suspended a week after the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA), which represents professional players, declared a dispute with CSA over money it said was due to the players for commercial rights relating to the MSL 2018.
CSA said it was investigating whether the suspended officials were "derelict in fulfilling their duties" and that disciplinary action could follow. It said all fees due to the players would be paid to SACA immediately.
The latest trouble for CSA comes at a time when the national team appears to be in dire straits. Head coach Ottis Gibson and his coaching staff were removed after a mediocre display in the World Cup.
Van Zyl, who has been an employee of CSA for a long time, was made interim director of cricket whereas Enoch Nkwe was appointed interim team director after a successful stint with the Lions franchise.
Nkwe was in charge of the side which was white washed by India this month. South Africa will now face England in four Tests which start from December 26.