COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO CRICKET MATCH FIXING AND RELATED MATTERS
HELD ON: 08-06-2000
AT THE CENTRE OF THE BOOK
MS BATOHI: Mr Commissioner, the next witness will be Rory Steyn. Rory Steyn.
COMMISSIONER: Are you leading Mr Steyn, Ms ...(intervention)
MS BATOHI: I will be, yes.
COMMISSIONER: Mr Steyn do you have any objection to taking the oath?
MR STEYN: No I don't, Mr Commissioner.
RORY STEYN (SWORN STATES)
EXAMINATION BY MS BATOHI: Thank you. Mr Steyn is it correct that you are currently employed - or you're self-employed in a security consulting firm, under the name of Nicholas Steyn and Associates?
MR STEYN: One correction, Ma'am. Nichols Steyn and Associates would be correct.
MS BATOHI: And is it correct that you were previously employed by the South African Police in the V.I.P. Protection Unit, as well as the Presidential Protection Unit assigned to protect the ex-President, Mr Nelson Mandela?
MR STEYN: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: Now as part of your business, are you a security consultant to the United Cricket Board?
MR STEYN: Yes, Ma'am.
MS BATOHI: And what does this function involve or entail?
MR STEYN: Shortly before I finished my career with the Police, Dr Bacher asked me what I was going to do once President Mandela's term of office had expired, and I said I was looking to continuing my career in the Private Sector. And he said, 'Well, I have a job for you. I would like you to coordinate security for the 2003 Cricket World Cup.' And I thought that was very nice, but it's 4 years away, and he said, 'No. Our work starts now.'
So since August of last year I have been evaluating the various Event Management Firms that currently have contracts with the Provincial Bodies, with a view to setting up a set of policies and procedures so that the World Cup could be consistently from Province to Province in South Africa in 2003.
MS BATOHI: Now on the 9th of April this year you travelled to Durban with the South African Cricket Team, this was just before the Australia Series, and what was your function in Durban?
MR STEYN: You are correct. My function in Durban was a dual one. Primarily, the United Cricket Board, in the person if it's Managing Director, asked me to look after the personal security of the Australian squad, because the Australian Cricket Board had expressed very strongly certain security concerns arising out of a few incidents that happened in New Zealand prior to the Australian Squad's arrival in South Africa, as well as an incident that happened involving their Captain Steve Waugh in Guyana, when on turning for the third run, the pitch was invaded. There were no more stumps on the field and it was chaos, and I think Steve Waugh's words to the ACB were, 'Are you waiting for another Monica Seles incident before you do something?'. So there was a very definite concern about their personal security, so that was my primary role. My secondary one was as I've just described.
MS BATOHI: Now in the early hours of the 11th of April, you received a telephone call in your room, is that correct?
MR STEYN: Yes.
MS BATOHI: Who was that from?
MR STEYN: It was from Hansie Cronje.
MS BATOHI: Before you deal with what happened after that, how would you have described - how would you describe your relationship at that time with Mr Cronje?
MR STEYN: I thought I had a very good personal friendship with Hansie. Not intimately close, but a good one, and that was probably based on the fact that since 1994, as a Police Officer, I was involved in the earlier tours, like the Australians and the English sides. So Hansie and the sort of senior players knew my face.
But then particularly when I started with President Mandela, he would on occasion invite the teams around, and he maintained a very close link with the team. And I would always assist where I could in getting, for example, a cricket bat or a shirt or something like that signed by the President to assist the players. So we developed a friendship over the years, basically dating back to about 1994.
MS BATOHI: On the 11th of April at about 2 when you received this call, did Hansie Cronje request you to come up to his room?
MR STEYN: Yes, he did. May I just point out, Mr Commissioner, that at that particular time, although I was with the Australian side, during that stay in Durban for the first of the 3 matches in the Series, the Australian and South African sides were in the same hotel.
MS BATOHI: Is that at the Elangeni, or the now Holiday Day Inn, Garden Court Elangeni, in Durban. Is that correct?
MR STEYN: Ja. I think it's gone from the Elangeni to the Holiday Day Inn Crown Plaza, to the Holiday Inn Elangeni. But that's the one.
MS BATOHI: Alright. Tell the court what happened. You went up to this room. Tell this Inquiry what happened then.
MR STEYN: Hansie requested me to come up to his room. He told me it was room 1720. So I got out of bed and I went up to room 1720, and the door was open. The dead-bolt had been activated, so the door was closed but open, if you know what I mean, so I pushed it open and I walked into the room. And he was sitting there fully clothed. His bags were packed, they were lying by the door, and he asked me to sit down and handed me a statement to read, which I started doing.
MS BATOHI: Before you go on, I'm going to show you a copy of the statement that I have. Have a look at this statement and confirm that this is in fact a copy of the statement that he handed to you that night.
MR STEYN: This is a copy of the statement.
MS BATOHI: And is this in Mr Cronje's handwriting?
MR STEYN: I assume it is, but it's certainly the one that he gave me, Ma'am. I didn't see him actually pen the words, but I assume that it's his handwriting.
MS BATOHI: What happened when he gave you that statement?
MR STEYN: On handing me that statement, he said something to the effect of, 'You may have guessed, but I haven't been totally honest, and some of the - some of what is being reported in the Media is true. And I've made a statement, and I'd like to come clean.'
So I sat down and tried to read the statement, but while I was reading it, Hansie was sort of continuing to tell me. I found it quite difficult to concentrate on both roles, but finally I got to read the statement.
MS BATOHI: You say in your statement that - well, as a result of your consultation, we've just drafted your statement, and you said that:
"He started by saying, 'These lies cannot go on any more'."
Do you recall that?
MR STEYN: I recall words to that effect, yes. It was certainly the - the general gist of what he was saying was that these lies are eating him up and he wants to come clean.
MS BATOHI: And did he in fact want to hand himself over to you, to be taken to a Police station or something like that?
MR STEYN: Yes, that is correct. Although he didn't say it in so many words, I certainly got the distinct impression that Hansie thought that I was still a serving Police Officer, and that he was actually turning himself over to an Officer of the South African Police Service.
MS BATOHI: You said that he indicated to you that some of the allegations in the Press were true. Is that what he said to you?
MR STEYN: Yes.
MS BATOHI: And did he say anything to you about match-fixing, or whether he was involved in it?
MR STEYN: Yes, he did. Hansie said to me that although some of what's being reported is true, and those conversations that are being reported on took place, he had never spoken to any South African player about accepting money, and he had never thrown a game or affected the outcome of a cricket match. And I believed him.
MS BATOHI: What was his emotional state at this time?
MR STEYN: Very poor.
MS BATOHI: Did he tell you ...(intervention)
COMMISSIONER: Explain that. Sorry, Ms Batohi. Very poor, in what sense? How did he come across to you?
MR STEYN: Certainly, Mr Commissioner. Hansie was, while he was speaking to me, this was at 2 o'clock in the morning, and his eyes were wide open and he was on the verge of tears while he was speaking to me, and he must have broken down into tears on 2 or 3 occasions. And I felt nothing but great sadness and great pity for him.
MS BATOHI: Did he explain to you that he had met a person - or let me rephrase that. Did he tell you about how he came to meet a person by the name of Hamid Cassim?
MR STEYN: Yes, he did. Hansie said that this chap Hamid, that was the name by which he knew him, was quite well acquainted with the team and was 'always around', those were his words. He was always hanging around and that Hamid had approached him while he was walking from the dressing-room to the nets at the Wanderers in preparation for the first One-day International in the Zimbabwe/England/South Africa Triangular Series. And he had said something like, 'Hey, Hansie, why didn't you tell me you were going to declare at Centurion? I could have made a lot of money.' And Hansie threw out the line, 'Well, you didn't ask me.'
MS BATOHI: I'm just looking at your statement. You said:
"From this point, Hansie was a little unclear and due to his emotional state, not everything he said made sense. However, he said that he had informed Hamid that they could not do anything in South Africa, and that they could also do nothing unless South Africa was in the final.'
Can you comment on that?
MR STEYN: Yes I can, Ma'am. At the moment those details are still very sketchy. What Hansie told me was that this approach, as I've just described to the Commission, had been made and that Hansie had thrown away the line saying, 'Ja, well, you didn't ask me.' And that subsequent to that, and I'm not sure whether it was at the time while he was now walking with his bat under his arm to the nets, or on subsequent - during subsequent conversations, but that Hamid had asked him whether he would be prepared to become involved. And Hansie had said, 'We can't do anything in South Africa, and we certainly can't do anything unless South Africa is in the final.'
So, I am not clear when those conversations took place. It wasn't clear to me at the time that Hansie said this to me.
MS BATOHI: Was anything said about a bag of money that Hansie had received? Did he tell you anything about that money?
MR STEYN: Yes, he did. Hansie said to me that, again, sometime - I assume it was at the time that this conversation took place at the nets, this is an assumption, I'm not sure of that, as I say these details are not clear to me even now. But that Hamid has said to him, 'Well, here's something for you, in case you change your mind. Just think about it.' And he had handed him a bag. I assume it was a - one of those bank bags, you know, linen bank bags. And he said to me at the time that there was between 10 and 15 000 U.S. dollars in the bag.
MS BATOHI: Now on the statement that I've just shown you, the handwritten statement which Mr Cronje handed to you, if you look on page 2 of it, the third paragraph, there's an amount there, and I just read from the statement, and it says:
"I had in my possession at that stage",
and then it says:
and there's an amount there that's been struck off. And then there's 10 to 15 000 written ahead of, scratched out. Can you comment? Was that done in your presence? And what was the original figure that was on that statement?
MR STEYN: Yes, Ma'am. That amendment was made in my presence, and I'm not sure whether the original figure was 20 or 25 000. But it was either 20 or 25 000, and at some stage Hansie took the statement back from me, and he said, 'No, that figures wrong.' And he deleted it and made that amendment as it appears on page 2.
MS BATOHI: And that now reads: '10 to 15 000 U.S. dollars'?
MR STEYN: Correct.
MS BATOHI: That same evening Hansie told you that he had accepted this money and then left on the India - well, left for India, for the Indian tour?
MR STEYN: Correct.
MS BATOHI: And did he tell you what happened during that tour, as far as Mr Cassim is concerned?
MR STEYN: Yes, he did. Hansie said that upon arrival in India, he was constantly harassed by Cassim and this chap by the name of Sanjeev or Sanjay. Hansie said up to 10 or 20 times a day these chaps would call him, harassing him, requesting him to do something in terms of influencing a game or - he didn't elaborate. But he said that they pestered him numerous times a day while he was in India.
Now it's not clear to me whether those were personal conversations, man-to-man, or whether they were telephonic or both. It's not clear to me, but he was pestered by them.
MS BATOHI: Did he also tell you about a Simcard that he received?
MR STEYN: Yes, he did. Hansie told me that - and I don't know which one of them, but one of them gave him a Simcard at some stage of that tour to India.
MS BATOHI: And what was the purpose of this?
MR STEYN: I assume that that was the number that they used to call him on.
MS BATOHI: Sorry. Did he mention who had given him that Simcard, or did he say one of the two of them?
MR STEYN: Ma'am, I can't remember whether he told me which one. I can't recall that it was one or the other.
MS BATOHI: And was this for use whilst he was in India? Is that correct?
MR STEYN: Again, I think it was India, but it was either India or Sharjah.
MS BATOHI: You mentioned to me during consultation that Hansie said to you that it was not strange that he was introduced to this person by the name of Sanjay, because in India you always find lots of people waiting around the change rooms, et cetera. And there would be people introducing themselves to you all the time.
MR STEYN: That is correct, Ma'am. He didn't say the change rooms. He said his hotel room. I'm sure the players would be in a better position to testify on this fact, but the way Hansie described it to me was, that when you're a touring cricketer in India, you can get anything from 20 to 30 people in your room, through your room, at any time of the day, all day. In fact, he told me that when you check into your room, it wouldn't be strange to find 2 or 3 people waiting in your room, and all they want is a photograph or an autograph. He says it's constant.
MS BATOHI: Did he say anything to you about transcripts of the conversations that had surfaced in the Press?
MR STEYN: I can't recall whether he directly referred to them, but once I had had an opportunity to read through the statement and once Hansie had told me this, he gave me 3 reasons why he was taking this step of putting his hand up and coming clean.
The first one of those reasons was the fact that he couldn't continue with the lies himself. He was being eaten up, and he wanted to come clean.
The second reason was that his family were feeling immense pressure, and it wasn't fair to his family.
And the third reason was the fact that the players that are mentioned in the transcripts were innocent, and that he needed to clear their names.
Now the inference that I drew from that, or the assumption that I got, was that if the transcripts were subsequently proved to be genuine and those players names came out of this process as genuine, that the players would then be tainted, and he wanted to clear their names before that happened.
MS BATOHI: Did he give you any indication about whether those transcripts were true or not? Whether those conversations had taken place?
MR STEYN: Yes, he did. He said to me, during the process of explaining this that I've just explained to the Commission, he said to me that those conversations that are being reported did take place. But he said that the one particularly that's being - that was reported at that stage was not one conversation. It was excerpts from a number of conversations that had taken place.
MS BATOHI: I just note from my notes of the consultation that you stated that:
"Hansie was adamant that he never tried to lose a game, and that he never spoke to other players."
Can you just comment? Did he say that several times during your conversation?
MR STEYN: He said that at least twice, and the words that he used were that once he put his feet onto that field he had no other idea in his mind other than to play for South Africa, and to win for South Africa. And that the reason that he had even gone as far as to mention players names was to get rid of these guys that were pestering him. He said that he was lying to them, or stringing them along, I don't recall the exact words, but he wanted to be rid of them. But he couldn't get rid of them. But when he put his foot onto the cricket pitch, he was there to play for South Africa, and he was never trying to do anything other than win.
MS BATOHI: Mr Commissioner, I note it is 1 o'clock now. Should we adjourn for the lunch ...(intervention)
COMMISSIONER: How very observant of you, Ms Batohi.
MS BATOHI: I've been reminded by my colleagues on my left.
COMMISSIONER: We'll reconvene at 2 o'clock.
COMMISSION ADJOURNS FOR LUNCH
RORY STEYN: (s.u.o.)
EXAMINATION BY MS BATOHI: (Cont)
Yes, thank you, Mr Commissioner. Mr Steyn, just prior to the lunch adjournment, you were talking about the discussion that you had with Hansie on the night in question. At some point did he give you his wallet and requested you to give it to his wife?
MR STEYN: Yes, he did.
MS BATOHI: And did he also ask you to call certain people that he named?
MR STEYN: Yes.
MS BATOHI: And who were those people?
MR STEYN: Peter Pollock, Jonty Rhodes, Ray McCauley, his father and his wife. How many is that, Ma'am? Five? Five is correct.
MS BATOHI: And what were you to tell them? What was the purpose of you calling them?
MR STEYN: Again, Hansie's emotional state wasn't that good, but the assumption that I drew was that he was handing himself over, and that he wanted me to give those people a call to tell them what was happening. And in Jonty Rhodes' case, it was because Jonty's wife Kate was particularly close to Bertha Cronje, Hansie's wife, and he knew that she would get moral and emotional support from that quarter.
MS BATOHI: And at about 3 o'clock that morning, I'm just reading from the notes compiled as a result of the consultation, you stated to us that the magnitude of what he was saying dawned on you, and you began to think of the implications for the team who were due to start practise at 9 o'clock that morning, and were due to play Australia the following day. You confronted Hansie with this, and the two of you decided that it was important to speak to Mr Goolam Rajah. Do you remember that?
MR STEYN: Yes, I remember that. Again, I'm just trying to get this sorted out in my mind chronologically. But I was very, very shocked and surprised, you know, to hear this. And once that initial shock had worn off, my mind sort of kicked into cricket mode and I realised that the very next day we had to play Australia, and that the South African team had therefore to practise that same day, 'cause this was two in the morning, so that - later that same day, I think it was in a question of - a matter of 7 hours, the team had to practise, and my mind was now sort of thinking, 'Okay. How are they going to explain the absence of the Captain from the practise?'.
So I asked Hansie, 'Does anybody else know about this?' He said, 'No. You're the first one.' I said, 'Well, you know, what about the team?'. And he said, 'I think we should tell Fordie and Goolam.'
MS BATOHI: Was Goolam Rajah then contacted, and did he come into Hansie's room as well?
MR STEYN: Yes, he did.
MS BATOHI: And was the statement that I showed you earlier on, was that given to him and did he read the statement as well?
MR STEYN: Yes. Very much the same process followed that I had been through. Goolam read the statement and Hansie explained for a second time what he had explained to me.
MS BATOHI: What happened after Mr Rajah came into the room? Very briefly.
MR STEYN: Mr Rajah tried to counsel Hansie. He tried to sort of understand what had happened, he was very good. There was a very solid relationship that had been established between the two of them, and Goolam asked Hansie whether he had consulted with a lawyer. Whether he had taken legal advise. And Hansie said no, he doesn't want to do that. This is his statement. And then he very firmly told Goolam that, 'I don't want any other statement released on my behalf by anybody. This is what I want to say, and this is what I want to do. I want to hand myself over.'
MS BATOHI: Did you at some stage suggest that Mr Cronje speak with Percy Sonn?
MR STEYN: Yes I did. I said to Hansie that as I was not a Police Officer, that any turning in or anything of that nature - can I just back-track and say that of course I had told him that he can't really hand himself in? Hand himself in for what? I had said to him, because there were not formal charges from the Police authorities in India, and there was certainly nothing in South Africa that I was aware of. So I said to him, 'You know - ' - Goolam at that point said, 'If you're admitting to car theft, they can lock you up for car theft if you go down to the local Police Station.'
But I then suggested that Hansie perhaps consider contacting Percy Sonn, and I gave two reasons for that. I said, 'Forget about the fact the he's the Acting President of the United Cricket Board of South Africa.' I said, 'a) He's a Senior Law Enforcement Officer, and b) he is an advocate. So let's talk to him.' And Hansie agreed to do that, and then the phone calls started to try and contact Percy.
MS BATOHI: And did Mr Cronje also at some stage also say that he wanted to speak to Mr Aziz Pahad?
MR STEYN: Yes, he did. Once it became clear from what Goolam and I were telling him, that the option of handing himself over to the South African Police wasn't really feasible, and that the United Cricket Board had handed the matter over to the South African government, and it was being handled on a diplomatic level, that Hansie would - then sort of realised, that, 'Well, if that's the case, then I must hand myself over to the South African government in the person of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Aziz Pahad.'
MS BATOHI: Is it correct that at some stage you all started to - those of you in the room started to try to find Percy Sonn and Ali Bacher, who were at that stage at the Pinda Lodge with some of the Australians. Is that correct?
MR STEYN: That's correct. I knew that Dr Bacher was at Pinda with his Australian counterpart and the President of the ACB, but I didn't know that Percy was there. So Goolam was trying to phone through to Pinda Lodge, and I was phoning everywhere in Cape Town trying to find Percy. And then when Goolam eventually got Dr Bacher on the line, Ali informed him that Percy Sonn was also at Pinda, and then I stopped phoning.
MS BATOHI: Now was that statement faxed to two places that night? Where was it faxed to?
MR STEYN: About half-an-hour after Goolam came into the room, Hansie phoned Ray McCauley, it must have been about 3:30 and woke him up, asked for his fax number and faxed it there. Oh, and the other place it was faxed to was Pinda. But that was a mission because Pinda's office was still closed at that time, and they had to find the person with the key where the fax machine was, and they called back a little while later to say, 'Alright, they're standing next to the fax machine. Send the fax now.'
MS BATOHI: Reading from the notes again, you said that Hansie became desperate to see Aziz Pahad, and you arranged with a friend and a business associate, that's Ray van Staden, to send a driver to drive Mr Cronje to Pretoria. Now - well, before I get onto that. The original statement of the one that was drafted, what became of that? Of the one that was handed to you by Hansie? What became of that original?
MR STEYN: Hansie retained the original. I can't be 100% certain, but I'm 99% certain that Hansie retained the original statement, put it into his nylon briefcase.
MS BATOHI: Did you make a copy in the fax machine of that statement which was retained by Mr Rajah?
MR STEYN: I believe Goolam did, in my presence. I didn't make the copy. I think Goolam made a copy.
MS BATOHI: So you made the arrangements for Mr van Staden to come and collect Hansie from the hotel, to take him to Pretoria to see Mr Pahad. After they had left, did you establish that Mr Pahad was going to be in Cape Town, and just to cut a long story short, Hansie was asked to come back and he was then taken to the Durban Airport and flown down to Cape Town. Is that correct?
MR STEYN: To cut a long story short, that is correct, Ma'am.
MS BATOHI: Were you present when that copy of the statement was handed to the players at a team meeting the following morning to read?
MR STEYN: Yes, I was. I wasn't there right at the beginning of the meeting. I arrived a few minutes late, but I was there when Mr Rajah, the Team Manager, was explaining to the side the events of the previous few hours.
MS BATOHI: At that meeting, were you present when Dr Bacher asked all the players if they had ever been involved or approached with regard to match-fixing, to which they all replied, 'No'? Do you recall that, were you present then?
MR STEYN: I was present at that meeting, but it was a separate meeting to the one we're referring to. That meeting took place at the players hotel, in the room adjacent to the Breakfast Room, which was the Team Room. And the meeting you're - that I was late for when the players were informed, took place in the Dressing Room at Kingsmead.
MS BATOHI: On the 19th of April, you flew back - you flew to Bloemfontein to return the wallet that Hansie Cronje had given to you. He fetched you at the airport, you went to his parents house, and later that day, on his return - well, when you returned to the airport, on the way he requested you to call Mr Gibbs. Is that correct?
MR STEYN: That's correct.
MS BATOHI: Did he say why he didn't want to call him personally?
MR STEYN: Yes. Hansie said to me that he didn't want to make any contact with the players. The assumption that I drew from that was the fact that calls of that nature could be traced, and they could prejudice those players. And Hansie merely asked me to pass on a message to Herschelle Gibbs, saying, 'Herschelle, don't worry. You're not involved. The Captain says you've got nothing to worry about. Stay strong and get your mind on the game.'
MS BATOHI: My notes of the consultation I had with you was that Mr Cronje said to you that he didn't want to call him personally "as he said that calls could be traced". Now, did he say that to you, or is that something that you assumed, as you said now, because that's not what you said to me during consultation.
MR STEYN: Ma'am, I can't recall clearly. It's possible that Hansie said it to me in as many words. However, that is not clear. I'm not 100% clear on whether he said that, or that was the message that I got, in other words, an assumption that I made. I'm not sure, either are possible.
MS BATOHI: Did you in fact make that call to Mr Gibbs, to tell him that he should not worry, he's not involved and he should get on with playing cricket, basically?
MR STEYN: Yes I did make the call, but Mr Gibbs didn't answer the phone himself. It went onto his voice mail, I left that exact message on his voice mail, and said that if he wanted to discuss anything, he could return the call. He didn't, and the first time I spoke to him was this morning in this hall.
MS BATOHI: You stated to me that you have spoken to Mr Cronje on a couple of occasions after that - well, since that night. Has he ever mentioned anything to you concerning this whole business of match-fixing or anything like that?
MR STEYN: No he hasn't. Every subsequent conversation that I had with him, and there were possible 3 or 4, was really to ascertain how things were going, as at one point that morning I was seriously concerned about his emotional state. And I just want to reassure myself that he was okay.
MS BATOHI: Mr Steyn, is there any - well, before we get to that. That statement that I showed you earlier on that Mr Cronje handed to you, - Mr Commissioner, I haven't formally handed it in as an exhibit, but it will form part of the record, and I'm not sure whether we've been following with exhibit numbers, I'm not sure what number it would be. For that reason I have found it unnecessary to ask the witness to read out the statement.
COMMISSIONER: No, that's quite in order.
MS BATOHI: Mr Steyn, is there anything further you wish to add about the incidents on the night in question or the following day?
MR STEYN: Ma'am, just perhaps that when I saw Hansie that morning, as I've explained to the Commission, he was in a very bad way. But I was left with no other impression in my mind that what he had told me was the truth. That he was very clearly very, very repentant. Sorry for what he had done, and I had no reason not to believe the fact that he said that he didn't ever not play to win for South Africa, he hadn't ever thrown a match and he hadn't spoken to any players. I believed him when he told me that.
MS BATOHI: I have no further questions, Mr Commissioner.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS BATOHI
COMMISSIONER: Mr Gauntlett.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR GAUNTLETT: Thank you, Mr Commissioner. Mr Steyn, you've described the extremely distressed state that Mr Cronje was in when you spoke to him that night. From your discussion with him and what he was telling you while you were also simultaneously reading his statement, did you however form the view that he was rational and lucid, he was thinking in a straight line?
MR STEYN: At the risk of answering a question which I'm not sure what the follow-up question will be, Hansie was - he was clear and adamant in what he was trying to convey at the time to me. And I believed 100% that he was sorry for what he had done, and he was coming clean.
However, certain of the things that he had said, for example, from what I explained to you, I didn't quite understand the circumstances in which he'd explained to me this matter of him saying to Sanjay that, 'We can't do anything in South Africa'. That was a bit garbled and jumbled, and it could also be that I was trying to listen to him and read the statement. But certainly in terms of what he was achieving by what he was saying, and the enormity of what he was telling me, he was very lucid about that.
MR GAUNTLETT: Thank you. And you use the word, I think 'repentant'. His emotional state, did you ascribe it to the fact that he seemed very remorseful and upset at the consequences about what he had done?
MR STEYN: Indeed. Especially with regard to how it had affected his family. And may I just add that I share the same religious viewpoint as what Hansie does, and I could see that this was a brother that was hurting, and he was cleaning - he was trying to clean up as best he could what he was responsible for doing.
MR GAUNTLETT: And what he did, in fact significantly as I understand it, was to give you a list of some people who were really close, and I think also from a religious viewpoint, who could help his wife, and he also gave you the wallet. Is that right?
MR STEYN: That is correct. As I've already stated to this Commission, from his wife's point of view it was particularly Jonty and Kate Rhodes. And he wanted me specifically to call Peter Pollock because, again I assumed this, but as Chairman of Selectors, him and Hansie had been very, very close and there'd been an immense amount of support, both emotional and you know, through their official relationship over the years. And he felt it prudent that somebody - I think that he didn't want to make that call himself. He was simply too upset to do it. He wanted somebody personally to tell Peter Pollock that this was the score.
MR GAUNTLETT: And both those respects, handing over the wallet and as it were, giving the list of a little support group for his wife, did you relate that to the fact that he seemed to be contemplating the fact that he could be imprisoned, arrested and imprisoned more-or-less immediately for what he was telling you that he had done?
MR STEYN: I think that that is what he though would happen. Of course it wasn't the reality, but yes.
MR GAUNTLETT: Now the things that he said to you as you were trying also to read the statement, as I understood it, were really 3 things. One, he was saying to you that some of the allegations that had been published about him he had to admit now were true. Two, however he'd never spoken to any player about taking money, and three, likewise he had never fixed a match. Is that it in a nutshell?
MR STEYN: Pretty much. That's it in a nutshell.
MR GAUNTLETT: He changed his mind about the money, to which reference is made in the statement. Did he indicate to you, from the way that he changed his mind, that he changed it to 10 to 15 000 dollars, that he had a pretty clear idea of the amount, that it was 10 to 15? Or did he say, 'Look, this is an absolute guess. I really don't know.'?
MR STEYN: He was pretty uncertain about the amount. And again, the impression that I got was that he had been handed a bag with some money in it, and he hadn't really counted it. He had simply stashed it away somewhere, and perhaps he'd been told that this was the amount, or he had glanced through it a bit. He - there was certainly no sort of certainty or uncertainty. It was just, 'It was about this much,' and then he later said, 'Oh, no, it wasn't that much. It was only 10 to 15 000.'
MR GAUNTLETT: The statement that he gave you to read when you arrived, and you found him inside the room with the dead-bolt holding the door open, it was already written out, was it?
MR STEYN: That's correct.
MR GAUNTLETT: Signed and dated?
MR STEYN: Signed and dated.
MR GAUNTLETT: Now you've described to the Commissioner how you were trying to do, as many of us often have to do, the two things at once, of listening to a person, but at the same time to read a document. Did you try to read the document quite closely to find out what on earth is this man talking about? What's going on?
MR STEYN: Very much so. I tried to concentrate on what I was reading, because I just couldn't believe you know, what I was hearing. But the upshot of it all is I only read the statement through once, but I was trying to pay as much attention as possible to what I was reading.
MR GAUNTLETT: Yes, of course, you were probably in the most elite position, in the most elite unit of the Police force, and I take it you would, in your career, have had some experience of having to read statements closely. When you finished reading the statement, were you conscious of having missed anything? In other words, that you'd read an incomplete document?
MR STEYN: No. And if you're referring to the page that now seems to be missing, that page was there when I read it.
MR GAUNTLETT: You're quite clear in your own mind that it was?
MR STEYN: Absolutely.
MR GAUNTLETT: Now what we know then happened was that a copy was made of the original handwritten document, and you've described to the Commission how Mr Cronje took away in his nylon briefcase the original. Correct? I'm sorry, I caught you in mid-swallow.
MR STEYN: That's alright. As accurately as what I can recall, that is correct, Mr Gauntlett. I can't - as I say, I can't be hundred percent sure that he put it in there, but that is the impression that I have.
MR GAUNTLETT: And the copy that was made - there was one copy made, and that was the one which was faxed to Pinda where Dr Bacher, and I think others, were waiting for the staff to wake up and turn on the fax machine or open the door, or something.
MR STEYN: No. The original was faxed to both Ray McCauley and Pinda. But Mr Rajah made a copy through the fax machine. In other words, the copy was in curly fax paper, those ones we love so much. That was the copy that Goolam retained, and which we later discussed with Bronwyn Wilkinson, because we knew that Media would start going berserk, and she had a right to know what was in the statement.
MR GAUNTLETT: So following this curling paper trail, the original you think went off with Mr Cronje, a copy is made and retained by Mr Rajah, and faxes of the original, the complete document as you recall it, went through to Pinda and to Pastor McCauley. Is that right?
MR STEYN: That is correct. And again I'm not sure of this, there could have been a third copy faxed to Bertha in Bloemfontein. Could have been, but certainly the two copies that were sent were faxes of the original.
MR GAUNTLETT: Mr Steyn, do you remember what you read on that what is now missing page for us? Do you have any recollection on what it may have covered? May I just say, as you know it comes towards the end of the statement, and the concluding sections is:
"I feel that I can bring something good out of all this",
and there follow some various points directed at family and friends, and it seems over a wider audience, being a lesson for all of you, and particular names after that start being mentioned. Particularly Mr Cronje's family, members of the family, then there's a missing page, and then one goes from point 4 to point 10, which simply says:
"I'll be back better off than I am now once I have been punished."
Can you recall points 5 to 9 in any way? I'm not crediting you with a photographic memory, but are there aspects, names, things that you can remember that you read and you don't see now?
MR STEYN: As I explained to Ms Batohi, I could remember some of it. Could I just ask to see those two pages, the one preceding and succeeding the missing one for a minute?
Thank you, Mr Commissioner. As I explained to Ms Batohi, from what I recall, the missing points, in other words point 5 to point 9, I think referred to Dr Bacher and Mr Sonn and the United Cricket Board, to the people of South Africa, to team mates and possibly to someone like Peter Pollock, and others that Hansie felt that he had let down. I think that that's a pretty accurate recollection of what that missing page holds.
MR GAUNTLETT: And while you've got the statement conveniently in front of you, I wonder if you could clarify something else? I think you indicated to us that in the sort of simultaneous oral explanation that Mr Cronje was giving you, he referred to Hamid, who also rejoices under the name of Banjo. Of Hamid giving you the money. His statement refers to Sanjay giving the money. You able to help in that regard? You'll see that on the second last paragraph of the unnumbered second page. In fact, it's where the deletions are, the very - the aspect you've talked about:
"The 10 to 15 000 dollars that Sanjay gave me, just in case I had a change of mind."
MR STEYN: I see that now. The way I recalled, it was that Hamid had given Hansie the money.
MR GAUNTLETT: Yes, well, perhaps I've just been given - I think it comes from Mr Cronje's team, the page which we've all had missing for so long, and it's the 5 points, if I may just go through them with you.
"5) The team and Management has been great in their support as they obviously never suspected anything. I would like to apologise in particular to Boje, Gibbs and Strydom, whose names were mentioned in the Media. They were absolutely 100% innocent.
6) The timing of this is not great. I would have loved to play in these 3 matches. Dr Bacher, Adv Sonn and all the Board members need to know that the players all support them fully, and I appreciated their support not only through", I think it's everything, "but through the whole cricket career of mine. I was fortunate to have played in these exciting times in the history of South African cricket.
7) Even though I had the odd fight with the Board", I think it is, "I want them to know that they will always have my 100% backing and support.
8) I want to thank the Indian Police and whoever tipped them off for saving my life. Life on earth means nothing, but life with Christ for eternity is what matters. I now ask for forgiveness from you Father, and want to turn away from sin.
9) I grew up in a home and school where you deserve to be punished if you do wrong, and I am now willing to go to India and take my punishment like a man."
Does that tie in?
MR STEYN: Yes. Now that you've enlightened me, that is exactly what it was.
MR GAUNTLETT: A few last little aspects, Mr Steyn. Mr Cronje told you about how he'd been 'pestered', was the word I think you used, or being his word or your word and paraphrase, going to India and being pestered by these bookies.
MR STEYN: That is correct, Mr Gauntlett. I believe that 'pestered' was the word that Hansie used. But the message that he conveyed to me was one of almost constant harassment from these people.
MR GAUNTLETT: This is - these are the same people that you understood from him that he'd accepted a Simcard?
MR STEYN: That is correct.
MR GAUNTLETT: Did he explain to you why he perhaps didn't, either in robust Anglo-Saxon, understood internationally or otherwise, ask them to leave him alone, or simply remove the Simcard?
MR STEYN: There is nothing that I wish more had actually happened then if he had told them that. But the only sort of impression that I got from this was that he had sort of made an initial step, taken an initial step and when the pestering sort of - when the pestering started, all he wanted to do was get these guys out of his life, but that the money had been received in South Africa, and he was now in India and he couldn't give it back. So that was sort of the link. That's the impression that I got.
MR GAUNTLETT: And could you just remind us, having accepted this Simcard and being pestered by them, how many times a day did he say he was being pestered?
MR STEYN: I believe it was between 10 and 20 times, or as many as 30 times a day. Certainly 20 is the figure that springs to mind.
MR GAUNTLETT: And in what sense then did he indicate that he was stringing along those who were pestering him in this way you've described?
MR STEYN: By telling them that he had spoken to certain players, and that certain players were in, when in fact he hadn't done that. So in other words, he was telling them that he had spoken to certain players and influenced them, but he had never spoken to them. And this was done in the hope of getting rid of them and their pestering so he could get on with touring India.
MR GAUNTLETT: And by the time this happened that night on the 14th of April, the Media had run the stories of the transcripts in India, not so?
MR STEYN: I believe it was the morning of the 11th, because the first match against Australia was the 12th.
MR GAUNTLETT: And do I have it correctly that what he indicated to you was that the conversations being reported on in the international media, as taken from the transcripts, that those conversations did take place, but the qualification he was making to you, it wasn't just one conversation. There was more than one.
MR STEYN: That's correct. If you're referring to the transcripts that had appeared in our Press just subsequent to the squad's arrival back from India, yes. Sorry, and I also made a mistake. It was the - this conversation that Hansie and I had in his room was at 2-am on the morning of the 12th. In other words, ...(intervention)
UNKNOWN VOICE: ...(inaudible)
MR STEYN: No, I'm sorry. It was 2-am on the morning of the 11th. So they had to practise that morning at 9 o'clock and play Australia the next day, the 12th, in Durban.
MR GAUNTLETT: Thank you, Mr Commissioner.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR GAUNTLETT
COMMISSIONER: Mr Fitzgerald?
MR FITZGERALD: I have no questions.
NO QUESTIONS BY MR FITZGERALD
COMMISSIONER: Right. Who else? Mr Gishen.
MR GISHEN: I have no questions.
NO QUESTIONS BY MR GISHEN
COMMISSIONER: Mr Dickerson.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR DICKERSON: Thank you, Mr Commissioner.
The first impression that was created when you saw Hansie Cronje on the morning of the 11th of April was that he was distraught, and, to put it mildly, in a highly distraught emotional state, is that correct?
MR STEYN: Not initially. Both when he called me on the phone and when I first walked through the door he was incredibly calm. In fact when he called me on the phone he said, "Rory this is Hansie speaking..." it was like any other conversation and when I walked through the door he was calm, he was wide-awake, he was lucid. But shortly after starting to tell me his story he broke down.
MR DICKERSON: And from the tenor of what you have already said the impression he created on you was that he was not somebody at that stage who was seeking to exculpate himself at all.
MR STEYN: Not at all. He was putting his hand up and saying I've done something wrong and I want to come clean about it.
MR DICKERSON: On the contrary he was not only putting the blame upon himself but was also concerned about clearing other players.
MR STEYN: That is correct.
MR DICKERSON: Your impression in response to a question which was asked by Mr Gauntlett was on the basis of what you were told, that when he was harassed whilst in India, "pestered" I think was the word you used, he found it difficult to get rid of them because he had taken an initial step of accepting money which was in South Africa and it couldn't be given back to them. Is that your considered understanding and impression on the basis of what you observed that evening?
MR STEYN: That is my interpretation of the predicament or the position that Hansie found himself in. He didn't tell me that, and again this opinion is probably one that I formed on reflection of all that I'd heard, but it was almost as if the money was the problem because he couldn't just give it back and say, "listen get out of my life, I don't want to see you guys again", because the money was in South Africa and he was in India so there was this hold over him that they probably were using against him.
MR DICKERSON: The further impression which you had formed was that he was uncertain as to the amount involved because he had never counted it.
MR STEYN: That is the impression I got.
MR DICKERSON: That too is an impression which was formed at the time in circumstances where he was not attempting to exculpate or hide anything from you in relation to his own activities, or his own responsibility.
MR STEYN: That is correct. The amount of money was never an issue. The amount was never an issue.
MR DICKERSON: The reference in your statement and in your evidence to "a bag of money", I understood you to say, when you were being questioned by Ms Batohi, you must correct me if I am wrong, that it was your assumption that it was "a bag of money". Is it your recollection that that was said, or could it have been said to you that the money was in something else, not a bag?
MR STEYN: It is my recollection that the money was in a bag, however, if it was in something other than a bag, for example an envelope or some other receptacle that wouldn't be out of the realms of possibility.
MR DICKERSON: And as Mr Gauntlett pointed out to you there is a discrepancy between your recollection in your statement to the effect that you were told that Hamid presented the money and the statement which refers to Sanjay giving the money. Do you accept that your recollection to the extent that it conflicts with the statement may be incorrect?
MR STEYN: Yes I do. I had the impression that it was Hamid that had given him the money, even though the statement that I'd read said "Sanjay". My impression was that he had told me that it was Hamid.
MR DICKERSON: I have no further questions Mr Commissioner.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR DICKERSON
COMMISSIONER: Anything in reply Ms Batohi?
MS BATOHI: Nothing further Mr Commissioner.
COMMISSIONER: Mr Steyn explain, if you can and I will appreciate it if you can't, I will understand that, something that perturbs me slightly, your evidence has told me that these people were pestering Mr Cronje excessively and as a means of getting rid of the pesterers he named the names of three of his colleagues. I would have thought that that might have encouraged the pestering rather than discourage, but did you follow that up at all with Mr Cronje?
MR STEYN: No Mr Commissioner because the impression that I got was that inasfar as that it would get rid of them for that particular act of pestering or for that period, in other words if he says "yes I've spoken to Shaun Pollock or I've spoken to this one...." that they would leave him alone perhaps until the next time. But certainly as far as that period of time that they were pestering him was concerned he was using it to get rid of them, to get them out of his room, basically.
COMMISSIONER: I understand. Thank you very much for your assistance Mr Steyn.