COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO CRICKET MATCH FIXING AND RELATED MATTERS

HELD ON: 08-06-2000

AT THE CENTRE OF THE BOOK


MS BATOHI: Thank you Mr Commissioner. The next witness will be Herschelle Herman Gibbs.

HERSCHELLE HERMAN GIBBS: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MR FITZGERALD: Mr Gibbs you prepared a statement which I want you to identify. With it is an unsigned copy for you, but can you identify the signed copy? Does that bear your signature?

MR GIBBS: It does.

MR FITZGERALD: Can you hand that up to the Commissioner please, the signed one.

Mr Gibbs you are a current member of the South African National Cricket side, is that correct?

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Just for the record you are a right-handed batsman and a specialist fielder.

MR GIBBS: Correct.

COMMISSIONER: A specialist catcher too!

MR GIBBS: Well it's the dropped catch as well.

MR FITZGERALD: You learnt your cricket in the Cape?

MR GIBBS: Yes.

MR FITZGERALD: You went to school in the Cape and you played for Western Province first in 1990-1991 season.

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR FITZGERALD: I believe, incidentally, that you also represented South African schools at rugby, cricket and soccer.

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR FITZGERALD: You were first selected for South Africa in 1999, is that correct?

MR GIBBS: 1996.

MR FITZGERALD: That was just to test you.

MR GIBBS: I passed that one.

MR FITZGERALD: In that year the South African national side toured India, is that right?

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR FITZGERALD: So you have been a regular member of the South African team for the past three and-a-half years?

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR FITZGERALD: And during that time you toured Australia and New Zealand, Kenya and England.

MR GIBBS: I went to the World Cup, but not with the South African team in the test series in England, no.

MR FITZGERALD: You also represented South Africa in various series at home in South Africa.

MR GIBBS: Yes.

MR FITZGERALD: And you are a member, unlike perhaps Daryll Cullinan was, of both the test team and the South African one day international team.

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR FITZGERALD: I believe you played approximately 20 tests for South Africa?

MR GIBBS: Ja just over 20.

MR FITZGERALD: And one day internationals?

MR GIBBS: Just over 50.

MR FITZGERALD: Your highest test score I believe is 211 not out against New Zealand during the 1998/1999 tour in Christchurch?

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR FITZGERALD: And your highest one day international score was 125 against the West Indies in their 1998/1999 tour of South Africa.

MR GIBBS: Yes.

MR FITZGERALD: Alright can we go to India in 1996.

MR GIBBS: We can go back there, ja.

MR FITZGERALD: You were a member of the side, what was your age then?

MR GIBBS: 22.

MR FITZGERALD: 22. Were you at any stage on that tour approached at all in regard to the fixing of the match?

MR GIBBS: We had a team meeting before the benefit game which was the last game of the tour in which Hansie said that he had been approached. The meeting definitely took place before the game, one or two days, it could have been a day or even the morning of the game I am not sure, I can't remember. He said he had been offered US$250-thousand and the team then - we then had a discussion. Being my second tour and being very young at that stage I didn't think that I should ever start or be part of the proceedings because I respected the senior players and they had a discussion.

MR FITZGERALD: And what was the nature of the discussion?

MR GIBBS: Either everybody in the team would be part of it or nobody at all.

MR FITZGERALD: And were there many ...(intervention)

COMMISSIONER: I don't think we've been told what Mr Gibbs is telling us about. You are talking in terms of "part of this, part of that", previous evidence has indicated that Hansie Cronje came with a proposal that the team throw a game, that particular game later that day or the next day, in return for a sum of money. Is that the incident you are talking about?

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Alright. So what was the discussion which took place amongst members of the team in response to Hansie's approach?

MR GIBBS: We were all going to be part of it or nobody at all. And Derek Crookes and Andrew Hudson stood up and they said they didn't want to be part of it. And at the end of the meeting that was the consensus that we all were going to be part of it or nobody at all and that was it.

MR FITZGERALD: Now there have been discussions of, in some cases, one meeting, in other cases two or even three meetings which took place in which the team participated. How many meetings did you attend?

MR GIBBS: I only attended one meeting.

MR FITZGERALD: Was that a meeting at which the whole touring squad was present?

MR GIBBS: Ja, the whole team.

MR FITZGERALD: Did Hansie Cronje at any time speak to you before the meeting with regard to the proposal?

MR GIBBS: No, not at all.

MR FITZGERALD: At the time the proposal was made what was your personal feeling about the proposal at the meeting?

MR GIBBS: I didn't know what to think. You know being only my second tour I thought I'd leave it up to the senior players to have a discussion and if we were individually asked our opinions, I can't remember what my opinion was or if I did give an opinion, but I was happy to go along with whatever the general consensus of the meeting was.

MR FITZGERALD: With the benefit of hindsight what do you now think about the fact that such a proposal was made?

MR GIBBS: I think it was, in hindsight, whether the discussion shouldn't even have taken place and it was definitely the wrong thing to even consider taking money to lose a game.

MR FITZGERALD: Right. Can we go on to another subject now. We must mention Hamid Banjo Cassim, do you know about him? Have you met him?

MR GIBBS: I've met him once or twice in Johannesburg. I can't recall when was the first time I met him. I know it was either during the triangular one day series with Zimbabwe, England and South Africa, or during the test series against England. Ja, he did bring a packet of biltong to my room.

MR FITZGERALD: Just another subject, do you ever bet on a game of cricket?

MR GIBBS: Not at all.

MR FITZGERALD: Are you aware of any other South African cricketers who have bet on a game of cricket?

MR GIBBS: No.

MR FITZGERALD: Mr Gibbs if we go to the most recent Indian tour at the end of last year and the beginning of this year and can we confine ourselves initially to the fifth one-day international at Nagpur, which took place, I think, on the 19th of March of this year. Can you describe what happened on the morning of that game?

MR GIBBS: It was quite early in the morning, the morning of the last one-day game because I distinctly remember it was the 19th of March which is my mother's birthday, and Hansie came into my room, I was sharing a room with Henry Williams. He had this huge grin on his face. He then he came to me and Henry had just finished showering whatever and he was coming out of the bathroom when Hansie said to me that somebody had -he'd been on the phone with somebody, or somebody had phoned him and they were prepared to offer myself US$15-thousand if I made less than 20. At which I said "yes".

MR FITZGERALD: What was your response to the offer?

MR GIBBS: Pardon?

MR FITZGERALD: How did you respond to the offer that was made to you?

MR GIBBS: Well the first thing that came to mind, without even thinking about what he'd actually asked me, I immediately thought about my mother because I know just before we went to India my parents were thinking of, or were divorced and my father at that stage had a temporary job and I knew that you know ever since I heard him talking of the divorce that I would have to look after my mom for the rest of her life, and at that stage my father wasn't in a position really to help her out. And that is why I probably said "yes", or I said "yes".

He then approached Henry and he asked Henry that - well he didn't ask Henry he said that the same guy, he didn't say, mention any name, would give him the same amount of money, US$15-thousand if he went for not less than 50 runs in his ten overs. At which Henry also said "yes".

I then told him if you can get more money then do so. And he said - and the team mustn't get more than 270.

MR FITZGERALD: Alright. Let's go to the match itself. Who batted first that day?

MR GIBBS: We did.

MR FITZGERALD: And who were the opening batsmen?

MR GIBBS: Myself and Gary Kirsten.

MR FITZGERALD: And will you describe to the Commission what happened during the course - or what happened to the first two balls at least that you faced that day.

MR GIBBS: I managed to get two fours in each of the two balls.

MR FITZGERALD: And thereafter how did you bat?

MR GIBBS: I batted like a steam train. Ja no the last time we played in '96 when we played there I managed to get 200 and 176 on the same field. I just knew that, you know, I even I'd forgotten what was even spoken about before the match in the hotel and I just kept on going. And you know I mean I just enjoyed myself. And luckily that you know Gary got out and Neil got out, Neil McKenzie, and then I was on about 30 or 40 when Hansie walked in.

MR FITZGERALD: So just to go back, in return for the US$15-thousand what was your score to be?

MR GIBBS: Less than 20.

MR FITZGERALD: There is an annexure to your statement which is the scorecard for the fifth one-day international, do you have that? Well I'll read it out. You got 74 that day in 53 balls, is that correct?

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR FITZGERALD: So the plan didn't go according to plan. During the course of your innings ...(intervention)

COMMISSIONER: And you were run out too, you were run out.

MR GIBBS: Ja I was.

MR FITZGERALD: During the course of your innings did you bat with Hansie Cronje?

MR GIBBS: Ja I did. Obviously as Hansie walked in I then was reminded of what discussion took place in the hotel and you know like after he had faced a few balls I came up and I said "now you know what's going to happen here? I've got 30 or 40 already and you know what's going to happen?". And he just said to me "well there is nothing we can do at this stage you are just going to have to keep on batting", and he then also decided you know he got on with the bowling and he was batting at a like ferocious sort of pace and a few more overs went by and then I asked him "okay well what are we going to do?" And he then said "well if anybody, if either one of us has to go out it will be me", and obviously referring to me he just said "you just carry on batting". And then the way in which he went out, which was one helluva catch from a guy at slip, and I think he was more shocked that he caught the ball and actually caught it by way of reflex, and at that stage Hansie in that particular shot he wasn't trying to get out at all.

MR FITZGERALD: Mr Gibbs you described it, when the offer was made to you you accepted it immediately. Did you consider then the consequences of what you were doing?

MR GIBBS: Not at all. As I said the first thought that came into my mind was my mother and obviously looking back now it was probably one of the most stupidest decisions I have ever made and I do regret that. You know I obviously feel that I let my country and my team mates down and probably family as well.

MR FITZGERALD: Just for the record you never got the $15-thousand?

MR GIBBS: No.

MR FITZGERALD: Mr Gibbs just to digress for a moment, how long have you played professional cricket?

MR GIBBS: Well I started playing for South Africa in 1996 and I've been playing for Western Province since 1991.

MR FITZGERALD: Other than cricket then have you ever been in sort of fixed or regular employment?

MR GIBBS: No, not at all.

MR FITZGERALD: How old are you now?

MR GIBBS: 26.

MR FITZGERALD: Just again for the record you indicated that as part of the proposal, I think, South Africa was to get not more than 270 runs in that one day game, is that correct?

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Well what was the ultimate score, can you remember?

MR GIBBS: In excess of 300, I think about 320.

MR FITZGERALD: Thank you. Now after that Indian tour you went to Sharjah?

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR FITZGERALD: And you returned to South Africa. And we know that on, I think, the 7th of April of this year the revelations were made with regard to match-fixing in India and you were named as one of the people involved, is that correct?

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR FITZGERALD: What was your response to that information?

MR GIBBS: I was in a state of shock. That's when, you know, I started having sleepless nights and I didn't know what evidence they had or just I didn't know how to think or what to think of the whole allegations.

MR FITZGERALD: Can we turn specifically to Sunday the 9th of April. You recall that was the day of the practice match at Kingsmead in Durban shortly before the first one-day international against Australia?

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Is it correct that you were called to a meeting in the Member's dining room at Kingsmead, I think Dr Bacher was there, Hansie Cronje, Nicky Boje, Goolam, Bronwyn Wilkinson and Mr Cliffie Green were present, do you recall that?

MR GIBBS: Yes I do.

MR FITZGERALD: Can you recall what Dr Bacher asked you at that meeting?

MR GIBBS: He asked me if I was ever approached and I said "no".

MR FITZGERALD: Was that the truth?

MR GIBBS: No it wasn't the truth.

MR FITZGERALD: Why didn't you tell him the truth?

MR GIBBS: Because I was scared and I was just frightened and also I was protecting Hansie.

MR FITZGERALD: On that day you also attended a press conference, is that correct?

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR FITZGERALD: At any stage that day did you have any opportunity to talk to Hansie Cronje at all?

MR GIBBS: Hansie briefly met with me just after the meeting we had with Dr Bacher just before the press conference. All he said was "just deny that I ever approached you and we ever accepted an offer."

MR FITZGERALD: You did thereafter attend a press conference?

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Did you say anything or make any statements at the press conference?

MR GIBBS: A journalist asked me if I was ever approached and I said "no" and I was supporting my captain in whatever he said.

MR FITZGERALD: Was that the truth?

MR GIBBS: No it wasn't.

MR FITZGERALD: And your reason for not telling the truth?

MR GIBBS: Firstly protecting Hansie and on the other hand just being frightened of what the consequences might be.

MR FITZGERALD: On Tuesday the 11th of April of this year you were called to attend a team meeting at your Durban hotel, is that correct?

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR FITZGERALD: And that meeting was held after the morning practice?

MR GIBBS: Yes.

MR FITZGERALD: Was that a meeting attended by the whole team?

MR GIBBS: The whole team plus Dr Bacher and a few other people I can't remember.

MR FITZGERALD: What did Dr Bacher tell the meeting?

MR GIBBS: What I can remember was that Hansie was no longer captain and that Shaun was going to be the captain and Mark Boucher the vice captain.

MR FITZGERALD: Was the team asked whether anyone had been involved in match-fixing?

MR GIBBS: Ja he did ask that. He asked me to stand up and asked me, "Herschelle were you ever approached", and I said "no", "no Doc, no I wasn't".

MR FITZGERALD: And that was also an untruth?

MR GIBBS: That was a lie, ja.

MR FITZGERALD: And was your reason for lying the same as it had been previously?

MR GIBBS: Correct, ja. I was scared and you know I was doing as Hansie asked me to do.

MR FITZGERALD: I think it would be fair to say that your performance against Australia reflected your state of mind?

MR GIBBS: Ja, I mean it was just - you know ever since the allegations came out I mean I was never myself. I got numerous phone calls. I mean a day before the first game I had over 70 phone calls, 75 missed phone calls and you know I just didn't know what to think and obviously in fear of what the consequences might be and not realising that I was lying or realising that I was lying to everybody, but at the same time I was, you know I was trying to protect Hansie.

MR FITZGERALD: Now you say that you were trying to protect Hansie, can you very briefly describe to the Commissioner what your relationship with Hansie was like?

MR GIBBS: I've got the utmost respect for Hansie. You know I've been in and out of the team since '96 and I always regard him to be the best captain in the world. And you know I've become really close to him and I think he's a - he's one of the few guys in the team that I can only say is my friend.

MR FITZGERALD: In fact on occasions you have even shared a room with him on tours?

MR GIBBS: Ja I've once or twice done so.

MR FITZGERALD: I believe the motive for that was to try and discipline you.

MR GIBBS: I think it might have helped at that stage, yes.

MR FITZGERALD: Right. Let's go to the next day, the morning of the 12th of April in Durban, the first one-day international against Australia.

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Is it correct you were phoned by the team manager, Goolam Rajah?

MR GIBBS: Ja that's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: What did he want?

MR GIBBS: He wanted to talk to me. He wanted me to come to his room to ask me whether or not I've ever been approached and I continued to say "no".

MR FITZGERALD: I believe you also spoke that morning to Gary Kirsten?

MR GIBBS: Ja Gary also called me to his room. He then told me that he asked me was I ever approached and I said "no" and he then revealed to me that Peter Strydom had spoken to Gary, had spoken to him and told him that Mark and Jacques were also approached.

MR FITZGERALD: Did he indicate Peter ...(intervention)

COMMISSIONER: Sorry, Mark and? Who were also approached?

MR GIBBS: Mark Boucher and Jacques Kallis.

MR FITZGERALD: Approached by whom?

MR GIBBS: Hansie.

MR FITZGERALD: And what did Peter Strydom say, had he been approached?

MR GIBBS: Yes.

MR FITZGERALD: By Hansie?

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Did you continue to lie, as it were, to Gary Kirsten and tell him that you hadn't been approached?

MR GIBBS: Ja, yes.

MR FITZGERALD: And your reasons the same?

MR GIBBS: Ja, you know obviously scared and protecting Hansie.

MR FITZGERALD: Now if we can go to after the last game against the Australians which was I believe on Saturday the 16th of April of this year ...(intervention)

MR GIBBS: Sunday the 16th.

MR FITZGERALD: Sorry Sunday. Were you phoned by anybody in particular, by Hansie Cronje?

MR GIBBS: Ja Hansie phoned me some time after the game, not directly after the game but I was going to have a meeting with Dr Bacher later that week and Hansie then said to me, "listen you can tell Dr Bacher that I approached you but we didn't discuss any figures, no amounts, and I still turned down the offer".

MR FITZGERALD: Did he mention Henry Williams at all?

MR GIBBS: He said that I should tell Henry the same story.

MR FITZGERALD: The story effectively was that there should be a denial that any amounts had been discussed?

MR GIBBS: Correct, and also that he didn't ask Henry to bowl badly.

MR FITZGERALD: Did you contact Henry Williams?

MR GIBBS: Yes I did.

MR FITZGERALD: And what did you tell him?

MR GIBBS: I told him to say that Hansie had spoken or had approached in the morning of the game but didn't ask him to bowl badly.

MR FITZGERALD: I am told that - I understand some time later you were again phoned by Goolam Rajah, is that correct?

MR GIBBS: That is correct, ja.

MR FITZGERALD: What did he want?

MR GIBBS: He wanted to know if I was being honest with him. I then said to him that Hansie did approach me but I didn't accept the offer and there were no amounts of money spoken at all.

MR FITZGERALD: Was that the truth?

MR GIBBS: No that wasn't the truth.

MR FITZGERALD: And was the reason for not telling the truth the same as you've already described?

MR GIBBS: Ja I was trying to protect Hansie all the way and obviously fearing of what the consequences might be as well if I was honest.

MR FITZGERALD: Now we know that on Wednesday the 19th of April of this year Dr Bacher phoned you, is that correct?

MR GIBBS: That is correct, ja.

MR FITZGERALD: And what did he tell you?

MR GIBBS: He asked me, "Herschelle would you ever lie to me? Do you respect me?" I think he asked me once or quite a few times the same question.

MR FITZGERALD: Did he ask you whether you'd been approached by Hansie?

MR GIBBS: Yes he did.

MR FITZGERALD: And on this occasion what did you tell him?

MR GIBBS: I said "yes, but I didn't accept the offer".

MR FITZGERALD: Now I understand that in consequence of this telephone call you met with Dr Bacher at his home the next day, is that correct?

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Annexed to your statement, if you look near the back of your statement, the last two pages, are the minutes of the discussion that you had on the 20th of April of this year at the home of Dr Bacher, is that correct?

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR GIBBS: I think it's common cause what you said in that statement is not entirely true, is that correct?

MR GIBBS: That is correct, ja.

MR FITZGERALD: Save for the fact that it wasn't the truth, the contents of this note otherwise accurately reflects what you in fact said to Dr Bacher at that meeting, is that correct?

MR GIBBS: Correct, ja.

MR FITZGERALD: Again can you explain to the Commissioner why you didn't tell the truth in this statement.

MR GIBBS: I was doing as Hansie wanted me to do, trying to protect him. Also in fear of what the consequences might be if I was honest. And also just generally being scared and uncertain.

MR FITZGERALD: After that meeting you had lunch with Bronwyn Wilkinson, is that correct?

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Just for the record can you describe who Bronwyn Wilkinson is?

MR GIBBS: She's a UCB communications lady, something like that. I don't know the exact title, but she's sitting over there.

MR FITZGERALD: She's the one who looks like the late Princess Diana at the back of the court?

MR GIBBS: Correct, ja, Lady Diana.

MR FITZGERALD: Did anything significant take place throughout lunch? Did you discuss anything with her of importance?

MR GIBBS: We did have one or two Amstels, I did tell her - well I asked her, I said "What happens if you went - if you did as they asked you to do, or you accepted the offer, but didn't do as they asked you to do?"

MR FITZGERALD: And never received any money, what would happen?

MR GIBBS: Correct, ja.

MR FITZGERALD: And what was her response?

MR GIBBS: I think she sipped on her Amstel.

MR FITZGERALD: In the course of the next three weeks, did you have any discussions with Hansie Cronje at all?

MR GIBBS: Ja, up until - well I'd been in contact with him up until last week Thursday, Thursday or Wednesday.

MR FITZGERALD: Was it last week or the week before that?

MR GIBBS: It could have been the week before.

MR FITZGERALD: Now for the record, on the 22nd of May of this year you first consulted with your legal advisers, is that correct?

MR GIBBS: That is correct, yes.

MR FITZGERALD: And what version did you give to your legal advisers when you first consulted with them?

MR GIBBS: I gave them, I gave Mike and Peter the same version that I gave Alyan, that we - that Hansie did approach us, or myself and Henry, but we didn't accept the offer and there was no money ever spoken about or anything.

MR FITZGERALD: But you said at that stage that you considered the whole matter to have been a joke, the approach by Hansie.

MR GIBBS: Ja, well he came into the room that morning with huge smile on his face, and that is the thing with Hansie, you never know when he is being serious and I think that is the way we all know him, or the team knows him. You know, you just never know when he is being serious.

MR FITZGERALD: The fact that you gave that advice to your legal advisers, what do you say about that now?

MR GIBBS: It was obviously the wrong thing for me to do, and I do feel very bad about it and I am very sorry.

MR FITZGERALD: No, we accept your apologies. On the Wednesday the 31st of May - I think I'll lead you on this, you received a telephone call from Mark Boucher, is that correct?

MR GIBBS: Correct, yes.

MR FITZGERALD: He's the Vice-Captain in the South African side.

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR FITZGERALD: What did Mark tell you?

MR GIBBS: He asked me to join him for a drink at the Long Street Cafe.

MR FITZGERALD: And did you?

MR GIBBS: Yes, I did.

MR FITZGERALD: And while you and Mark were having a drink, what did you discuss?

MR GIBBS: He wanted to know if I'd been honest all the time, speaking to the attorneys and to Dr Bacher and to the media, and I kept on saying yes. And then he said "Well if you don't come clean now - and I'm not saying that you're being dishonest ...", he just said to me "If you don't come clean now and you lie in court, you're going to go to jail. So best, if you are hiding something, best you say it now."

MR FITZGERALD: And how did you respond?

MR GIBBS: I told him the truth.

MR FITZGERALD: And you called your legal advisers and told them the same?

MR GIBBS: I first phoned Donna and then I phoned Peter, and I think Peter phoned yourself.

MR FITZGERALD: And we all had an Amstel at the Long Street Cafe.

MR GIBBS: It was a Jack Daniels.

MR FITZGERALD: Mr Gibbs, other than the two incidents that you've described, when you were part of the 1996 team in India and the approach made by Hansie Cronje to you before the last one-day international in India this year, have you ever involved in any match fixing or anything of that nature?

MR GIBBS: None whatsoever.

MR FITZGERALD: Have you ever in any way attempted to influence a game or not otherwise tried your best for South Africa?

MR GIBBS: I've always on the other occasions tried my best, I never ever tried to influence at all.

MR FITZGERALD: In fact, even when you were asked not to try your best, you couldn't resist to temptation to score 73.

MR GIBBS: Correct.

COMMISSIONER: If you hadn't been run out by Mr Boucher, you'd have scored a great deal more.

MR GIBBS: I'd like to think so, yes.

MR FITZGERALD: In fact, Mr Gibbs, you were - if I recall your instructions, somewhat upset at the fact that you were out because there was a prospect that you might, you felt, have achieved the one-day international batting record.

MR GIBBS: Ja, you know the time that I got out it was just past the 20th over and I had 73 at the time and there were still quite few overs to come and who knows what could have happened for the rest of the innings, and I stayed in for the entire innings.

MR FITZGERALD: You described earlier that Hansie Cronje was a, as you said, a great captain and he was also your mentor, is that right?

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR FITZGERALD: What is your feeling now towards Hansie Cronje?

MR GIBBS: Firstly, he's human. Sometimes we don't think he is, but I still respect him, I still regard him very highly, I still regard him as the best captain in world cricket. And people make mistakes, some of us make a bit more than others, but it's never too late to change and to come clean.

MR FITZGERALD: Finally, you've now described your involvement in this matter, looking back with the benefit of hindsight, how do you feel about what you did?

MR GIBBS: I'm not very proud of what I did, I know playing for your country is a big honour and you know, that's what dreams are made of and you know, I know I let my country down, I let my teammates down, I let my family down and I let myself down, and looking back I can't say I'm very proud of it and I know I'll never do it again.

MR FITZGERALD: And you apologise for it?

MR GIBBS: Ja, I do apologise.

MR FITZGERALD: No more questions, Mr Commissioner.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR FITZGERALD

COMMISSIONER: Mr Gauntlett.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR GAUNTLET: Thank you, Mr Commissioner.

Mr Gibbs, there are just a few aspects I'd like to ask you about, because I think to the legal team for the Cricket Board, it would appear that you have been forthright and brave in what you have said, however belated both the candour and to a degree, the bravery may have been, you have been both. But what I'd like to ask you relates first of all to your background. You went straight from school into cricket, is that right?

MR GIBBS: Sorry?

MR GAUNTLET: You went straight, effectively, from school into cricket.

MR GIBBS: Playing for Western Province, yes.

MR GAUNTLET: Did you matriculate?

MR GIBBS: I did, yes.

MR GAUNTLET: And how old are you now?

MR GIBBS: 26.

MR GAUNTLET: And how old were you when you first played for Province?

MR GIBBS: 16.

MR GAUNTLET: Now Mr Gibbs, as I have it, and I'd like you just - we'll go through it very briefly, because Mr Fitzgerald has covered this in detail, but I just want to be very clear. As I understand it there were I think, seven occasions on which, as I think you've now acknowledged, you lied to the Cricket Board about these matters, and I just want to be clear that we have exactly what happened. As I understand it there were two occasions on which Mr Cronje has actively asked you to mislead others, and I just want to get very clear as we go through one by one, that we're talking the same language.

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR GAUNTLET: The first - and it probably be easiest, I think you've got a copy of your statement, or you should have, the first as I understand it, is paragraph 11.1, which relates to the meeting which took place on Sunday, the 9th of April, in the members dining-room at Kingsmead, with Dr Bacher, Cronje, Mr Bojé Goolam Rajah and others, and that's when Bacher first I think, asked you if you'd even been involved in throwing a match and you denied any involvement.

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR GAUNTLET: Now it was immediately after that, as I understand it, was the first occasion according to your evidence, that you were actually asked actively to mislead by the Captain, Mr Cronje. You say that, as I understand it:

"Immediately after the meeting and before the press conference, Cronje passed me and as an aside told me that I must continue to deny everything."

MR GIBBS: Yes, just deny everything.

MR GAUNTLET: So he had been present in the meeting with Dr Bacher and the other officials and he knew that what you were saying was false, and afterwards he asked you to carry on lying, is that right?

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR GAUNTLET: And it was then the second occasion where you attended the press conference, immediately afterwards, where you said that you supported Cronje and you'd never been approached by anyone. And that too was untrue.

MR GIBBS: Yes.

MR GAUNTLET: The third is the incident you referred to at the end of paragraph 11.5.3, on page 8 of your statement, and that was the team meeting on Tuesday the 11th of April, after morning practise that day and it was attended by the entire team and Mr Sonn was there, the Acting-President of the Cricket Board, and again Management of the Cricket Board, including Dr Bacher, and that's when the whole - everybody was asked whether they'd been involved and you never spoke up, so really by being silent you were misleading them, is that right?

MR GIBBS: Correct, ja.

MR GAUNTLET: And then specifically Dr Bacher, who seems to have been uneasy about your position in particular, he asked you to stand up before your teammates and to state whether you'd been approached and you denied it then again.

MR GIBBS: Yes, I did.

MR GAUNTLET: That's the fourth time. You didn't mention in your oral evidence, which you do in your statement, is that you were clearly very upset by the position in which you found yourself, because you say you immediately - you were shocked and you left the meeting and you went to the change rooms and you broke down, is that correct?

MR GIBBS: That is correct, it was the morning before the first one-day game against Australia and Durban, where Goolam said, you know, that Hansie phoned Dr Bacher the morning at 3 o'clock, and it's at that stage when I broke into tears.

MR GAUNTLET: Did you go alone into seclusion, or was there a team member, somebody with you at the time?

MR GIBBS: I chose a corner of the change room anyway because we normally, whoever the change rooms are, or at certain grounds we sit in the same places and I went to my normal place and that's where I was crying.

MR GAUNTLET: And then the fifth occasion in which I think you lied was on the morning of the first one-day international, when you were phoned by the Team Manager, Mr Goolam Rajah, and asked to go to his room and he pertinently asked you again "Look, have you been approached in connection with match fixing?" Or words to that effect, is that right?

MR GIBBS: That is right, ja.

MR GAUNTLET: And you denied that then?

MR GIBBS: I did, ja.

MR GAUNTLET: And then the sixth I think, is the Gary Kirsten conversation where again you told Kirsten that you hadn't been approached, is that right?

MR GIBBS: That is correct.

MR GAUNTLET: What then follows as I understand it, is the second occasion in which, on your evidence, you were asked by Mr Cronje to continue with the deception, and that is in paragraph 13 of your statement. It was after the last game against Australia, which was on Sunday, April the 16th, he phoned you. You've got that?

MR GIBBS: That's correct, ja, it was between the 16th and the time that I met with Dr Bacher.

MR GAUNTLET: Yes, now the significance of the 16th is it was effectively a week after the story was breaking, it's after the drama about which we heard about earlier, where you were present, to which Mr Rory Stein testified, the handing over of that statement, the hand-written statement by Mr Cronje, and what you say happened days after that and also significantly, after it had been publicly announced that there would be a Commission of Inquiry, what you say is this, that you were phoned by Mr Cronje:

"He told me that although it was in order for me to admit that he had approached Henry Williams and I (I think you mean me), neither of us should mention that any amounts had been discussed and we should both say that we had not accepted the offer. He suggested that we deal with the whole episode as one big joke and that he had approached us individually. Cronje also told me to tell Henry Williams what to say, specifically that he, Cronje, had never asked him, Williams, to bowl badly."

You say that you're not quite sure when it took place, you recall it was in Cape Town, that it was before that you met with Bacher on Thursday, April the 20th. And you say finally:

"I contacted Williams and told him what Cronje had said to me."

You're quite clear in your mind about that?

MR GIBBS: That is correct, yes.

MR GAUNTLET: Now the 7th occasion on which I think you lied to the Cricket Board, or generally to wider public and authorities, was at the meeting at Dr Bacher's house on Thursday, April the 20th, and you've confirmed the minutes which were taken by Ms Bronwyn Wilkinson. Again you were still at that stage saying "I had no part, I have no knowledge of match fixing, never approached", is that correct?

MR GIBBS: No, I told Dr Bacher that Hansie did approach us, but we didn't accept the offer.

MR GAUNTLET: Sorry, that's quite correct. And then the last occasion is the eighth one, and that is the lunch with Ms Wilkinson, and you were clearly not telling her frankly as to what had happened, you were suggesting a problem which was a very real problem to you, you had an occasion to disclose it and you didn't. So that was the last occasion of deception I'm aware of, is that correct?

MR GIBBS: That is correct, yes.

MR GAUNTLET: Could we just clarify something in relation to the transcript which we do have. I'm not sure that you've got it, it's an annexure to a couple of the statements. I wonder, perhaps I could put it in front of you in this form if I may. Oh, you have got one. Oh, thank you. Yes, if I may, Mr Commissioner, it appears as an annexure to the statement by Ms Bronwyn Wilkinson. I'm sorry, it's to the witness - well we can find another copy for the Commissioner if he's ...

Now you'll see it's broken, this alleged - for the fastidious amongst us, may I say the alleged transcript of the alleged conversation and keep it at that level, but let's stay there, below the break in the transcript it starts with this conversation between Sanjay and Hansie, and there's talk about depositing money in the account and talk about a time difference and then Hansie - if you can pick it up about halfway through the second block, says:

"HANSIE: Okay, I have spoken. Yes, everything is fine. Spoken to Gibbs and to Williams and Strydom. Everything is fine.

SANJAY: Already okay. And how many runs for Gibbs?"

and then it says:

"HANSIE: Less than 20.

SANJAY: Less than 20?

HANSIE: Yes.

SANJAY: Okay, so everything is according to plan. They have to score at least 250.

HANSIE: Yes, yeah.

SANJAY: And if you score 270, it is off."

So those figures we're reading about, Mr Gibbs, do they to your mind, align with what you've told us, namely about the game in which there was talk about less than 20 and "Have to score at least 250, but 270, it's off."" Does that align itself?

MR GIBBS: Yes, that's what Hansie asked.

MR GAUNTLET: Yes.

COMMISSIONER: Sorry, I think there may be some confusion. Hansie asked you to get yourself out for less than 20, but now the second part of Mr Gauntlet's question to you involved the team score. Were you knowledgable of that, did you know that that was part of the arrangement?

MR GIBBS: Well Hansie said ja, if we get more than 270, we mustn't get more than 270.

COMMISSIONER: Than 270.

MR GIBBS: Ja. Correct, yes.

MR GAUNTLET: Just to help you there, Mr Gibbs, it's page 5 of your statement, paragraph 8.3, the point I'm on there. In fact, if you just go back to your statement, page 5, paragraphs 8.2.2, 8.2.3 and 8.3, your recollection there of what the scores had to be, does that tie up with what I've just read to you from the transcript? Because there you'll see not more than 270 and not more than 20 runs. Does that tie up?

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR GAUNTLET: Thank you. Now in the statement, the hand-written statement of Mr Cronje, which we were looking at earlier, he says this:

"Before the final match ..."

Mr Commissioner, it's all un-paginated I'm afraid, but it's in the middle of the page.

"Before the final match, I said that we will go for this one as Pollock, Kallis and Hayward were injured, and again mentioned some names, none of which was true. I never approached players there either."

That you accept is untrue, Mr Gibbs?

MR GIBBS: Well he did approach us before the last one-day games, ja.

MR GAUNTLET: Do you yourself have any thought as to why still as late as the 16th of April, Mr Cronje should be asking you to deceive the Cricket Board and deceive the world, having made what he purports to have made as an acknowledgement of his misdoings and the extent thereof?

MR GIBBS: I don't know why he asked me, but I was happy to go along with whatever he asked me to do.

MR GAUNTLET: Thank you very much, Mr Gibbs.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR GAUNTLET

MR GIBBS: Thank you.

COMMISSIONER: Mr Gishen, any questions?

MR GISHEN: I have no questions, thank you.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR GISHEN

COMMISSIONER: Ms Batohi.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS BATOHI: Mr Gibbs, you went up to the UCB last Friday, is that correct?

Let me rephrase that, let me get the dates right. Your legal team met with the UCB last Friday, is that correct?

MR GIBBS: That's correct.

MS BATOHI: What was the reason for that meeting, do you know?

MR GIBBS: I think they were going to go and - they were going to tell Dr Bacher that I had been lying and they were going to tell him the truth.

MS BATOHI: You've been questioned about the transcripts by Mr Gauntlett, certain parts of it. I am going to refer to one part of the transcript which - the problem we have with these transcripts is that we don't have dates on them, okay, at this stage. But I have received some information from a policeman in India which seems to suggest that there was a conversation that took place between Mr Cronje and Sanjay on the 16th of March. Now I am going to tell you what is said during that conversation.

"SANJAY: Is Strydom playing?

CRONJE: Yes he's playing.

SANJAY: Boje?

HANSIE: Boje is playing.

SANJAY: Yeah Boje is playing.And who is playing, Gibbs?

HANSIE: Gibbs and myself".

Now I accept that we don't have confirmation that this conversation took place on the 16th, but on your evidence the first time you were approached by Mr Cronje was on the 18th, that's the day before the game at Nagpur, is that correct?

MR GIBBS: No, the morning of the game, which is the 19th of March.

MS BATOHI: So if this conversation did indeed take place on the 16th of March you can't explain why Mr Cronje would, at that stage, have said that you are in on this plan? Because I am going to later - at some stage argue that the word "plan" means "in on the plan".

MR GIBBS: I don't know why he mentioned my name.

MS BATOHI: You don't know why he mentioned your name at that stage, on the 16th of March?

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MS BATOHI: But you say that at no stage before the 19th did he ever approach you, is that correct?

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MS BATOHI: You are absolutely sure about that?

MR GIBBS: Hundred percent.

MS BATOHI: Mr Gibbs you have been questioned at length by Mr Gauntlett about the various occasions on which you were dishonest and lied about your involvement. Did you speak to anybody about your involvement, for example your parents, close friend or anybody like that, before Mark Boucher spoke to you?

MR GIBBS: I had spoken to a few of the players throughout the period between the last one-day game against Australia and till the day that I revealed the truth to my attorneys, yes.

MS BATOHI: I understand your fear when it came to officials and players about disclosing what you had done, but did you ever speak to anybody close to you, for example your parents, about what had happened?

MR GIBBS: No I didn't. I only revealed to him the truth last night, to my father.

MS BATOHI: Why did it take you - I understand you were obviously you feared and you were anxious about revealing the truth, but why didn't you disclose it earlier? You had so many opportunities to do so.

MR GIBBS: That is what Hansie wanted me to do. Probably because I was scared, uncertain and I knew that if I was going to be in - or when this day came and I had to appear in court that I would have to eventually tell the truth and the day that Mark phoned me and said "listen, it's time for you to come clean", that was the time that I revealed the truth.

MS BATOHI: Have you ever spoken to Mr Cassim, Hamid Cassim on the phone?

MR GIBBS: Yes I did. He phoned me while we were in Sharjah and he said to me that there was a chance that he'd be coming to Sharjah and if I had tickets for him or not.

MS BATOHI: Is that all the conversation was about?

MR GIBBS: That is the only one I remember, yes.

MS BATOHI: Do you have any foreign bank accounts?

MR GIBBS: Nothing, not as far as I know, no.

MS BATOHI: Please bear with me Mr Commissioner.

Did you and Mr Williams ever discuss about what you were going to tell the Commission before you'll decide to tell the truth? Did you put your heads together and say this is the story we are going to tell the Commission?

MR GIBBS: I kept on referring to Mr Williams about what Hansie had said that I must tell him until the day we - well until the day I told my attorneys the truth.

MS BATOHI: I have no further questions, thank you.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS BATOHI

COMMISSIONER: Mr Dickerson I don't wish to limit or inhibit your cross-examination, but can you give me some idea of the sort-of time factor, because if it's not too long I think for Mr Gibbs' sake, apart from anyone else's, we should perhaps try and finish him this afternoon?

MR DICKERSON: Mr Commissioner perhaps we can proceed and see how far we get and ...(intervention)

MR FITZGERALD: Mr Commissioner, sorry, it has been a long and arduous day for Mr Gibbs. If there is any prospect of sitting later today in order to finish his cross-examination it would be appreciated.

COMMISSIONER: ... might have appreciated an adjournment.

MR FITZGERALD: I think he would like to get it finished with.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR DICKERSON: Mr Gibbs to go back to the fifth one-day international in India earlier this year. Whatever your intentions before the start of the game, when the game started those evaporated and any intention to limit your score to 20 dropped away?

MR GIBBS: Correct, ja.

MR DICKERSON: Similarly you indicated that when Hansie Cronje came to bat whilst you were still at the crease he showed every intention of running up a score. The word you used was "batted ferociously".

MR GIBBS: Correct.

MR DICKERSON: The third aspect of the result in that game which you say was discussed before the commencement of the game was the South African score which was to be limited to 270. That too was exceeded.

MR GIBBS: Correct, yes.

MR DICKERSON: In the result then whatever was said or done beforehand the game was not thrown and none of the pre-arrangements were adhered to.

MR GIBBS: Correct, yes.

MR DICKERSON: And as far as you were aware neither you nor anybody else received any money outside of your normal laying conditions in respect of that game?

MR GIBBS: Correct, yes.

MR DICKERSON: The only approach you received on the Indian tour, according to your evidence, was in respect of the last one-day international.

MR GIBBS: Correct yes, other than '96.

MR DICKERSON: From the time that Hansie Cronje had revealed to the United Cricket Board that which is contained in the statement which was addressed by Mr Steyn in his evidence, and of which you were aware, it was apparent to everybody, including you I imagine, that his playing days were effectively over.

MR GIBBS: I didn't think that at that stage, the only thing that I wanted to do for him was what he asked me to do.

MR DICKERSON: Well I suggest to you that it was apparent, certainly to him and to others, if not to you, that his playing days were over, and I suggest to you that your description of what was said to you about non-disclosure was aimed at protecting you.

MR GIBBS: Can you repeat that please.

MR DICKERSON: That which you have testified was said to you by Hansie Cronje about not disclosing your involvement I am suggesting to you that that was done, and that you must appreciate it as having been done, with the intention of protecting you.

MR GIBBS: Correct, ja. Well when Mark phoned me that day I knew that it was against the law to lie under oath and I best - it would be in the interest of both myself and of Hansie that I speak the truth.

MR DICKERSON: For some time after Hansie Cronje had made his revelations to the UCB and to others he continued to protect you and Williams by concealing your involvement.

MR GIBBS: Correct, yes.

MR DICKERSON: That's what he said in his press statement.

MR GIBBS: I can't recall what he said in his press statement.

MR DICKERSON: Do you accept that the intention behind that, rightly or wrongly, was to protect you and not to protect himself?

MR GIBBS: Probably to protect both of us.

MR DICKERSON: I have no further questions Mr Commissioner.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR DICKERSON

COMMISSIONER: Anything Ms Batohi arising out of Mr Dickerson's ...(intervention)

MS BATOHI: No nothing, thank you.

COMMISSIONER: Thank you Mr Gibbs, you have been of great assistance to the Commission. Thank you.

MR GIBBS: Thank you very much.

MR FITZGERALD: May I confirm that I have no re-examination.

COMMISSIONER: Oh....

NO RE-EXAMINATION BY MR FITZGERALD

COMMISSIONER: I hope it doesn't affect the fee.

MR FITZGERALD: Nothing will.

WITNESS EXCUSED

MR GISHEN: Mr Commissioner may I take this opportunity of asking whether my colleague and I and my two witnesses may be excused at this stage?

COMMISSIONER: Certainly as far as your colleague and yourself.....

MR GISHEN: Thank you.

COMMISSIONER: Thank you. As far as your two clients are concerned I can't see that there will be a necessity for them to return here. I think it's unlikely, but the door must remain just slightly open in case it's necessary. Thank you.

MR GISHEN: Thank you.

MS BATOHI: Mr Commissioner perhaps we should announce that we will be starting at 09H30 tomorrow as well and every day from now on perhaps.

COMMISSIONER: That's entirely so. We start daily at 09H30 and at this stage we'll adjourn the Commission.

COMMISSION ADJOURNS


Related Links:

Cricinfo's Coverage of Match-Fixing Allegations