Cronje faces grilling before King Commission

STEVEN MANN, Cape Town | Monday 1.00pm.

THE King Commission continues its probe of corruption in South African cricket on Tuesday, when disgraced former captain Hansie Cronje will be cross-examined about his involvement in illicit gambling scams since 1996.

Cronje admitted before the commission on Thursday to taking about $100000 in bribes and gifts, but escaped being grilled immediately for more details, when the hearing was adjourned for what his lawyers said were “medical and other reasons”.

Commission secretary John Bacon said the only other witness which had been confirmed would testify this week was Hamid Cassim, who would take the stand after Cronje.

Cassim’s name has cropped up repeatedly during the commission’s hearings. The Johannesburg businessman was known by several players as an ardent cricket fan, who had hung around the team for years and bartered biltong for match tickets.

Cronje said Cassim had introduced him to a bookmaker called Sanjay, who had given him a bribe of between $10000 and $15000 in February.

Cronje claimed Sanjay and Cassim had then repeatedly badgered him during a subsequent tour to India to rig matches and provide information.

Previously Cassim has denied any wrongdoing and if he sticks to his story, his testimony could well directly contradict that of Cronje’s.

Bacon said the commission had not yet considered offers by other international players to come and testify.

“At present we are dealing with the South African cricketers,” he said.

Meanwhile the Cape High Court was hearing an application on Monday by broadcasters e-TV, SABC and Live Africa Network News to enable them to transmit live broadcasts of the commission’s proceedings.


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