10th August 2020

CSA defends 2015 investigation against claims of preferential treatment

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has defended its part in a 2015 investigation into match-fixing in the Ram Slam T20 tournament, after allegations that some players were treated preferentially. Former South Africa cricketer Thami Tsolekile told Marawa Sports Worldwide that some players were let off despite being involved in match-fixing. CSA has countered that some players were not charged because they immediately reported corrupt approaches, as required by anti-corruption rules.

It has also been alleged that players were forced to sign statements under duress or coercion. CSA argues that it will review any cases where evidence is found that this occurred.

Last year, former Protea Gulam Bodi was sentenced to five years in jail for orchestrating the match-fixing, after being sanctioned with a 20 year ban by Cricket South Africa (CSA) in January 2016. Six other players – Alviro Petersen, Thami Tsolekile, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Jean Symes, Pumi Matshikwe and Ethy Mbhalati – were also sanctioned by CSA (media statements here, here, and here) for their involvement.

Tsolekile, who was sanctioned with a 12 year ban for a number of offences, alleged that Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Robbie Frylinck were approached by Bodi and had failed to report it to the authorities. ‘As regards the allegation that Vaughn van Jaarsveld was approached by Mr Bodi and failed to disclose this approach, CSA confirms that both he and Craig Alexander were approached by Mr Bodi and both players reported the matter to SACA [South African Cricketers Association] and to the ACU [Anti-Corruption Unit] as required by CSA Anti-Corruption Code and the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (Act 12 of 2004)’, read a statement. ‘Their possible involvement in the match fixing scheme was fully investigated not only by the investigating team but also by the Hawks [South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation] and they were cleared of any wrongdoing’.

The CSA statement added that Tsolekile did not mention allegations of match-fixing by Frylinck during his interviews with the ACU. One of the offences for which Tsolekile was sanctioned was failing to disclose evidence of match-fixing.

Alviro Petersen said that CSA investigators had got in touch after he alleged to have evidence that the 2015 investigation appeared to be biased. Petersen was sanctioned with a two year ban in 2016, after admitting delaying reporting match-fixing to CSA.

Petersen also alleged that another player in a similar situation to Vaughn van Jaarsveld had been ‘formally charged and publicly humiliated’ by CSA. He didn’t name the player. 

‘If there is credible evidence that players who signed admission of guilt documents did so under duress or coercion, without full due process, or if the process was compromised in any way, CSA will ensure that the relevant bodies give these issues appropriate attention, and will review the cases as appropriate’, read a CSA follow up statement. ‘CSA affirms that it has no influence or bearing on any cases investigated by the Hawks, on any findings on cases prosecuted by the National Prosecuting Authority, or on the findings of judges. Should any party wish to appeal the findings of a court of law, they would need to proceed through the appropriate legal processes.’

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