COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO CRICKET MATCH FIXING AND RELATED MATTERS

HELD ON: 09-06-2000

AT THE CENTRE OF THE BOOK


COMMISSIONER: Who would the next witness ordinarily be?

MS BATOHI: The next witness, Mr Commissioner, will be Bronwyn Wilkinson. It's now almost time for the long adjournment.

COMMISSIONER: I think we'll adjourn now. We won't start a new witness. We'll adjourn 'til 2 o'clock, just a moment please. Addressing myself to the practitioners, are there any airplane bookings - not only the practitioners, but the central witnesses as well, any airplane bookings that I should know about with regard to concluding today's proceedings? I would ordinarily adjourn somewhere between quarter-to-four and 4 o'clock.

MR GAUNTLETT: Mr Commissioner, we are sure that we would be in order, if it is suitable to the Commission.

COMMISSIONER: Well, we'll reconvene at 2 o'clock this afternoon.

COMMISSIONS ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION AT 14H00

COMMISSIONER: Are we ready? Your full names please?

MS WILKINSON: Bronwyn Anne Wilkinson-Luck.

COMMISSIONER: Ms Wilkinson-Luck, do you have any objection to taking the oath?

MS WILKINSON-LUCK: No, I don't.

COMMISSIONER: You consider it to be binding on your conscience, do you?

BRONWYN ANNE WILKINSON-LUCK: (sworn states)

COMMISSIONER: Thank you. Yes, Mr Gauntlett.

EXAMINATION BY MR GAUNTLETT: Thank you, Mr Commissioner. The witness, Mr Commissioner, is generally referred to as Ms Wilkinson, so I'll refer to her, if I may, in that abbreviated form.

MR GAUNTLETT: Ms Wilkinson, you are currently the Communications Manager of the United Cricket Board, and you've been employed in that capacity since the 1st of March this year, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: Yes, that's correct.

MR GAUNTLETT: And if I could just quickly pass through your background. You are a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand and thereafter you embarked on a career in journalism and more particularly in 1991, having completed the course at the Argus School of Journalism, you were awarded the trophy as the best student in that year, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: Yes, it is.

MR GAUNTLETT: And you went on to serve as a Crime Reporter on the Star, you became the Chief Crime Reporter, and you served in that capacity until 1994, and you were heavily involved at that time in investigative and political reporting.

MS WILKINSON: Yes, that's right.

MR GAUNTLETT: Thereafter, when the Sunday Independent and the Saturday Star were launched, you were appointed as Senior Writer on both newspapers, concentrating on politics, crime and features.

MS WILKINSON: Yes.

MR GAUNTLETT: You've also at times, served as a Sports Editor and in fact, more particularly in 1997 - to correct Mr Commissioner, a typographical or other error in the fourth-last line of Ms Wilkinson's first page of her statement, you were appointed Sports Editor of the Saturday Star, which is a distinct and separate publication, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: Yes, it is.

MR GAUNTLETT: Late 1998 you joined Times Media, as Editor of a daily sports newspaper called Sports Day, which was launched in 1999, but unfortunately went belly-up thereafter.

MS WILKINSON: Yes, it did.

MR GAUNTLETT: That we won't lay immediately at your door. Now Ms Wilkinson, could we turn to the events in question in this matter. In the days which followed the revelations commencing on 7 April 2000, were you concerned to keep as clear and close a recollection as possible?

MS WILKINSON: Yes, I took notes of all conversations which I thought were fairly important at the time, not every single conversation, but of several.

MR GAUNTLETT: And in that regard you have a little notebook which I think comprises some, if not all of your notes. You have it with you and you're quite willing for any interested party to look at it if it's required.

MS WILKINSON: Yes, that notebook is from the tour by the Australian team and I'm quite willing to hand it in to the court.

MR GAUNTLETT: Could we start with the events of Friday, 7 April. Now that morning, Friday 7 April this year, just after 11 a.m., did you get in touch with Dr Bacher and tell him that you'd received a call from a journalist in England who had told you that a story was being circulated by the Agence France Press news agency, that the Delhi Police had alleged that Hansie Cronje and three other South African players were involved in match fixing?

MS WILKINSON: Yes, I told Dr Bacher that the journalist had told me that AFP's wire carried a story quoting The Times of India using police sources, that Hansie and other South African players had been charged with match fixing.

MR GAUNTLETT: What was the upshot, what did Dr Bacher ask you to do?

MS WILKINSON: He asked me to call Hansie Cronje.

MR GAUNTLETT: Did you do so immediately?

MS WILKINSON: Yes, I did.

MR GAUNTLETT: Did you call him at home on a land line, or on a mobile phone, or how did you contact him?

MS WILKINSON: I contacted him on his cellphone and he was, I believe, in George at the time.

MR GAUNTLETT: What did you say to him that you can recall?

MS WILKINSON: I said basically what I had told Dr Bacher, that there was this story on the wires, that I didn't have any details and that we were getting a lot of press queries, mostly from overseas, that he had been charged with match fixing by the Indian Police.

MR GAUNTLETT: When you say "charge" you mean that there'd been allegations by the Delhi Police, or did you say "charged"? Can you remember?

MS WILKINSON: I said charged, the stories were saying charged.

MR GAUNTLETT: What was his response to what you said to him?

MS WILKINSON: He snorted and asked me if I knew anything else and I said no. He asked me to keep in touch with him and let him know if I found out anything else. I also suggested that he switch off his cellphone because he was likely to get inundated with media queries.

MR GAUNTLETT: Apart from that initial adenoidal response, did he use words? Did he use words to describe the allegations?

MS WILKINSON: Not that I recall in that conversation, no.

MR GAUNTLETT: Now did you then prepare a media release?

MS WILKINSON: Yes Dr Bacher in the first, in his response to the first few calls was then that he was certain that no South African player had been involved in match-fixing. We prepared a media release to that effect.

MR GAUNTLETT: In that first conversation with Mr Cronje, can we just be clear, what did he say in response to the allegations?

MS WILKINSON: He basically laughed. It was a kind-of a snort laugh.

MR GAUNTLETT: And then how did the conversation continue?

MS WILKINSON: I suggested that he should switch off his cellphone. I put him through to Dr Bacher.

MR GAUNTLETT: And you told him to switch his cellphone off and - we are talking about this first conversation, was it on at a later conversation? I think I may be talking at cross-purposes with you, that you put him through to Dr Bacher?

MS WILKINSON: Yes I spoke to him a couple of times with very, very short times in-between.

MR GAUNTLETT: Yes well that's why it's crucial for the Commission just to follow this slowly. We are talking about the first conversation. You put these allegations to him, he indicates to you that - snorts or whatever, and you tell him to switch his cellphone off.

MS WILKINSON: That's correct.

MR GAUNTLETT: What did you arrange with him as to how you would stay in contact with him?

MS WILKINSON: Once he switched his phone off we agreed that I would, and anyone else from the UCB who needed to stay in touch with him, would call him on Bertha, his wife's cellphone.

MR GAUNTLETT: It's at this stage then that there's talk of dealing with the media, is that correct? What did you tell him about dealing with the media?

MS WILKINSON: I said that we would handle the media queries and that he should just keep his phone off.

MR GAUNTLETT: You have also got a copy of the statement by Dr Bacher which has been placed before the Commission, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: Yes I do.

MR GAUNTLETT: Would you turn to Annexure 8 to that statement by Dr Bacher? AB8. Would you just read it out, it's a very short press statement dated the 7th of April 2000.

MS WILKINSON: It's headed -

"Match-fixing allegations.

The United Cricket Board of South Africa is certain that no South African cricket player has ever been involved in match-fixing.

UCBSA Managing Director, Dr A Bacher has spoken to South African captain Hansie Cronje, who is adamant that the allegations contained in press reports in India are completely untrue. Cronje is known for his questionable integrity and honesty"

And it's released by myself.

MR GAUNTLETT: Yes it has been pointed out to me you mis-read it's "unquestionable" I hope, "integrity and honesty".

MS WILKINSON: Sorry that was a complete slip.

MR GAUNTLETT: It might be explicable.

If we carry on you then met later that afternoon with a legal advisor to the UCB, Mr Green and Mr Rajah, the team manager, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: Yes we met at Mr Green's offices.

MR GAUNTLETT: That's in Sandton in Johannesburg?

MS WILKINSON: That's right.

MR GAUNTLETT: Now you say in your statement at paragraph 46, and may I just perhaps ask the obvious at this stage, Ms Wilkinson do you confirm the statement signed by you?

MS WILKINSON: Yes I do.

MR GAUNTLETT: I am sorry I am also simultaneously reading Dr Bacher's statement you got, you confirm your statement, so could we turn to your statement to paragraph 4 which links up with what Dr Bacher has to say.

Now you've described the initial report which came through and what followed in paragraph 5 of that report, as being a very difficult situation that day, is that correct?

MS WILKINSON: Yes It was.

MR GAUNTLETT: What was happening to you during the course of Friday the 7th of April?

MS WILKINSON: My main concern was to try and get some kind of clarity on where the story had come from and what the allegations were, who was making the allegations, but at the same time I was receiving a lot of media calls from around the world wanting us to comment on the allegations. And a lot of calls asking me for Hansie Cronje's cellphone number so that they could do interviews with him.

MR GAUNTLETT: Did you also, at that time, contact Gibbs, Strydom and Bojé?

MS WILKINSON: Only later after I had found out from a press report that they were the three other players who had been named by the Indian Police.

MR GAUNTLETT: What did you say to them?

MS WILKINSON: I said that their names had been mentioned in the story on the AFP wire and had gone around the world that they had been charged along with Hansie Cronje with match-fixing. I suggested that they should also switch their cellphones off.

MR GAUNTLETT: And I think it's clear from the evidence already given, did any of them indicate to you that they could throw any light on what you were warning them about?

MS WILKINSON: No they didn't. I didn't ask either Nicky Bojé or Herschelle Gibbs a direct question of whether they were involved. I only later asked Peter Strydom because Dr Bacher couldn't get hold of him.

MR GAUNTLETT: Now you say in paragraph 6 of your statement that later that morning you called the sports desk of the Times of India because you believed that that newspaper had actually broken the story, what did the journalist say to you who you spoke to?

MS WILKINSON: He mentioned the press conference which surprised me because right up until then we thought it was a story carried by one newspaper. I asked him what press conference he was talking about and he said the New Delhi Police had held a press conference that morning at which they had made their allegations and he gave me the contact number for a Mr K K Paul, who I believe is the Assistant Police Commissioner.

MR GAUNTLETT: You then called him and what was the response you received?

MS WILKINSON: I was told he wasn't in the office. I spoke to someone who I don't know his name but he said he worked on Mr Paul's squad or unit. He just said that everything that I had heard in the media was correct. I asked him if he could give me more details he said "no", but then he did elaborate to say that the players had been charged with cheating, fraud and criminal conspiracy. I asked how they could have had a press conference making allegations against South African players without informing either us or the players that they were going to do so, and he said I would have to ask Mr Paul.

MR GAUNTLETT: You continued to report on these matters to Cronje did you?

MS WILKINSON: Yes I spoke to him several times. Each time I learnt something new from the media reports I spoke to him about it, including when I found out who the other players were, who was involved.

MR GAUNTLETT: Are you able to tell the Commission exactly how many times during the rest of the day you phoned him doing this?

MS WILKINSON: I think it was about seven times.

MR GAUNTLETT: Now what was his response in those calls when you phoned him to tell him of these unfolding developments as you were getting news from India?

MS WILKINSON: He sounded angry. I actually felt uncomfortable telling him because of his response. I almost felt like I was bugging him.

MR GAUNTLETT: Did he in any way convey to you that in any single respect he had knowledge relating to these events?

MS WILKINSON: Not in the first several calls. It was only after I discussed with him a transcript that the police had released.

MR GAUNTLETT: That transcript is Annexure BAW2 to your statement, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: Yes it is.

MR GAUNTLETT: How did you get it and when on Friday the 7th?

MS WILKINSON: It was sometime in the afternoon, I can't tell you the exact time, and it was faxed to me via Kevin MaCallum who is the Sports Editor of the Saturday Star and Sunday Independent, a former colleague of mine.

MR GAUNTLETT: You say in paragraph 9 that -

"During the course of the morning I read a line or two from that transcript to Cronje in one of my calls to him".

Would you just pick up the story from there and describe slowly and carefully to the Commissioner what the reaction was?

MS WILKINSON: Mr Cronje didn't seem all that desperate for me to read the whole transcript. I read him bits and pieces and his response was fairly dismissive. I asked him if he knew of a Sanjay or knew a Sanjay or a Sanjeev, which was the other name. And he said no. I asked him if he knew anything about any of this, you know whether he could shed any light on what was going on. He said "no".

I asked him if he had been given a cellphone. One of the media reports had said that the police were in possession of the cellphone and which Mr Cronje had had on him. He said he didn't know Mr Sanjay. He spoke to a lot of people on tour in India, that there were a lot of people who came in and out of his hotel room, that he spoke to in the lobbies of hotels getting his autographs, and he couldn't be specific about various conversations. And the bits of conversation that I read him he said he couldn't recall them but he couldn't be specific.

He told me that he had been given a cellphone in Dubai which he still had with him and which he would give to Mr Goolam Rajah, but that he hadn't been given a phone in India.

MR GAUNTLETT: Did he tell you who had given him the cellphone?

MS WILKINSON: No he didn't.

MR GAUNTLETT: And what did you say to him in relation to the Indian Police allegation as reported that money had been paid into a London bank account?

MS WILKINSON: I mentioned to him that one of the stories quoted an amount and that the police had said at this press conference that the money had been paid into a London bank account. Mr Cronje said he did have a London bank account but that there was nothing in the story.

MR GAUNTLETT: Ms Wilkinson you say in your statement that you contacted the other three players, that is Gibbs, Strydom, Bojé, the other three named players again, what did you ask them to do?

MS WILKINSON: I asked them to contact Dr Bacher. He said he wanted to ask them directly if they'd ever been involved in anything, in match-fixing.

MR GAUNTLETT: And for the rest of the day you say that you continued to do what seems to have become your life's work which is to field calls from journalists and from member's of the public, is that what happened?

MS WILKINSON: Yes it is.

MR GAUNTLETT: What happened in relation to Mr Strydom?

MS WILKINSON: Mr Strydom hadn't returned my call, my earlier message, and I couldn't get hold of him to ask him to call Dr Bacher. By the evening Dr Bacher said he hadn't yet spoken to him. He then phoned me back and I returned his call again and spoke to him in the evening and I asked him direct questions, whether there was any truth in the story or if there was anything in the story - if he had ever been involved in match-fixing. He said "no", so I asked him to call Dr Bacher and tell him that.

MR GAUNTLETT: Yes, and thereafter that evening, this is now the evening of Friday the 7th of April, there was a meeting in the late afternoon at Mr Green's offices, is that correct, that's the one we talked about?

MS WILKINSON: Yes it is.

MR GAUNTLETT: Alright. And at that meeting there was discussion about a statement and a statement to be released, correct?

MS WILKINSON: Yes there were several discussions. We discussed the taping of conversations and then we discussed putting out a media statement that evening.

MR GAUNTLETT: That media statement I think is the one I was looking for earlier, is the media statement - I am sorry we have mislocated as they say, yes, the Annexure numbers seem to be out, do you have it, it's attached to Dr Bacher's statement, and it's just before - I am afraid the photocopying has chopped off the tops of the pages. It's AB9. The photocopying seems to have been done rather bizarrely.

MS WILKINSON: Yes I have it here as AB9.

MR GAUNTLETT: Could you read that out?

MS WILKINSON: It's also dated April the 7th and it says:

"Following allegations that have appeared in the media from India, UCBSA Managing Director Dr Bacher has spoken with the four players named in the reports. South African captain Hansie Cronje is a man of enormous integrity and honesty. He and his team-mates Nicky Bojé, Herschelle Gibbs and Peter Strydom are emphatic that there is no substance to allegations that they were involved in match-fixing during the one-day international series in India.

The UCBSA believes that these players have not been involved in the practice of match-fixing.

The UCBSA and the players concerned have had no contact from police in India and learnt about the allegations through media reports.

Hansie Cronje said,

'I have been informed by the UCB of the statements that have been made in the media and I am stunned. The allegations are completely without substance. I have been privileged to play for South Africa since 1992 and I want to ensure every South African that I have made a hundred percent effort to win every match that I have played. It has been an honour to play for South Africa and I would never do anything to let my country down'".

And the statement is released in my name.

MR GAUNTLETT: Would you explain to the Commission how that statement was produced, more particularly the quoted words Hansie Cronje said in the last paragraph.

MS WILKINSON: I called Mr Cronje from the conference room at Clifford Green's office and we worked that paragraph out together.

MR GAUNTLETT: And the rest of the statement was that discussed with him what one was saying, denying the allegations and referring specifically to his integrity, enormous integrity and honesty?

MS WILKINSON: Yes I read the full statement to him.

MR GAUNTLETT: And as the statement appears before the Commission now, did that bear his approval?

MS WILKINSON: Yes it did.

MR GAUNTLETT: Your next involvement in the unfolding events was on Sunday April the 9th 2000 and at the rather unpleasant hour of 6.20 a.m. on the Sunday morning where were you?

MS WILKINSON: I confess I was a little bit late, but I was at the airport to meet the Australian team.

MR GAUNTLETT: Yes, and just briefly would you tell the Commission what was said to you there and by whom.

MS WILKINSON: The Australian players and team management were very interested to know what was going on with the match-fixing allegations. It was the subject of most of the conversations. One conversation I remember in particular was with Shane Warne who said that if you took a list of international cricketers who would be likely to become involved in match-fixing Hansie Cronje's name would be the last on the list. Dr Bacher was standing with us at the time.

MR GAUNTLETT: May I ask you this Ms Wilkinson. As you stood there at the airport that morning against the backdrop of settling that media release and the conversations that you had, did you believe that there was any untruth in Mr Cronje's denials to you or indications of no knowledge?

MS WILKINSON: Not at all, no.

MR GAUNTLETT: May I ask you just to tell the Commission why?

MS WILKINSON: I don't know Hansie Cronje that well as a person, but I knew him by reputation and I had spoken to him on several occasions on the Friday and he had given me absolutely no indication that he knew or could shed any light on the allegations.

MR GAUNTLETT: Then at 9 o'clock that day, that's the Sunday April the 9th, you flew to Durban and went to this hotel which seems to trade under a number of names now, Elangeni/Holiday Inn/Garden Court, whatever?

MS WILKINSON: That's right.

MR GAUNTLETT: And you had a meeting with Mr Goolam Rajah, the team manager, with the hotel's management about security because you were worried about security for the team, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: Yes it is right. We were concerned a), about security, and b), about media pressure on the players going into a series against Australia.

MR GAUNTLETT: And you say that Rajah and you agreed that Bojé and Gibbs shouldn't grant any interviews because you didn't know the nature of the allegations against them and you wanted them to focus on the Australian series, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: That's right. The reason we didn't then discuss whether Hansie should give interviews is he wasn't in Durban yet. He only flew into town later that afternoon.

MR GAUNTLETT: And at the ground itself you had a conversation with Bojé did you? What did he say to you?

MS WILKINSON: We had decided that we would hold a press conference during the dinner break. South Africa were playing a warm-up match against a Kwa-Zulu Natal Invitation 11 and Bojé told me that he would like to be present at the press conference. He said he would like to be able to speak at the press conference.

MR GAUNTLETT: Now that evening at about 6:30 you, Dr Bacher, Green, Rajah met in the member's dining room at Kingsmead where the players normally have supper, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: Yes that's correct.

MR GAUNTLETT: You say in your statement it was the first time you had spoken face-to-face with Cronje since the story broke, is that correct?

MS WILKINSON: Yes it is.

MR GAUNTLETT: What happened then? What did you do?

MS WILKINSON: I read him again portions of the transcript which I had in front of me which had been released from India. He again said very similar to what he had said the day before, that he didn't remember any of those specific conversations. But he repeated that he saw a lot of people in India. And that he had a lot of people going through his hotel room, that they just pitched up and spoke to him.

MR GAUNTLETT: You recall in your statement that in fact you had a discussion with him speculating as to whether the tape could have been faked or spliced?

MS WILKINSON: Yes we did. We tried to, in discussions about this transcript and these tapes I recall a conversation, I think it was pretty much between all of us at the table, the possibility that the tapes had been somehow faked.

MR GAUNTLETT: Did Cronje participate in that discussion?

MS WILKINSON: Yes he didn't offer any information but he was party to it.

MR GAUNTLETT: And then some questions were asked by Mr Green of Cronje in preparation for the media conference, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: Yes it is.

MR GAUNTLETT: You conclude your description of that meeting by saying that -

"Again throughout the process Cronje indicated that he had no knowledge of irregularities of the kind suggested by the reports".

is that right?

MS WILKINSON: Yes. He made a couple of points that he had never thrown a match; that he had never approached the players; and that he had no knowledge.

MR GAUNTLETT: And you go on in paragraph 15 of your statement to talk about Gibbs and Bojé being called into the meeting, can you recall who wanted that? Was it you, Dr Bacher, Mr Green who proposed that?

MS WILKINSON: Once Mr Bojé had said he wanted to be present at the press conference I think I conveyed that to Dr Bacher and he suggested that we should have them there at that meeting.

MR GAUNTLETT: And you indicate that both Gibbs and Bojé denied any involvement in match-fixing, correct?

MS WILKINSON: Yes. Mr Gibbs was initially reluctant to actually be at the press conference, but he later agreed and I sat next to him at that press conference, and both him and Nicky said that they stood by what their captain said and they denied any involvement.

MR GAUNTLETT: Well the press conference is on tape and you also here in paragraph 16 of your statement briefly deal with it. The essence you say, is that Cronje said he had nothing to hide and the police could check his bank account, you add the words there Ms Wilkinson -

"I noticed at the time that he used the singular and didn't elaborate".

Would you elaborate to the Commission and tell the Commission what your instinctive feeling or reaction was when you noticed that?

MS WILKINSON: Ja, the reason I noticed it was that he had told me on the Friday that he had an account in London and I would assume as a South African that he would have an account here. It just struck me that he said could look at his bank account.

MR GAUNTLETT: And he also indicated that the police could ask the other players if he had ever approached them, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: Yes he did.

MR GAUNTLETT: Now would you then tell the Commission what happened immediately after the press conference?

MS WILKINSON: Hansie was talking standing to one of the journalists after the press conference and I went up to him and I guess by way of encouragement and support I said to him that he had handled it fine and that he should just hang in there, and as I was turning away Mr Cronje held my elbow and called me back and he said "Bronwyn please just make sure that everyone knows I never spoke to another player."

MR GAUNTLETT: You give those words as you speak in, almost in quotation marks, do you have any doubt that he said words like that to you?

MS WILKINSON: No I have no doubt that's what he said.

MR GAUNTLETT: Then on Monday April the 10th you referred to the practice held by the South African team at Kingsmead during which you chatted to Cronje, Gibbs and Bojé, would you tell Mr Commissioner what you talked about and what they said to you?

MS WILKINSON: It was basically they would ask me if I knew of any new developments or any new information on the matter. None of them gave me any information at all.

MR GAUNTLETT: Then Tuesday April the 11th began for you even earlier than the Sunday had, what happened?

MS WILKINSON: My cellphone rang in my hotel room at about quarter to three. It was ...(intervention)

MR GAUNTLETT: In the morning?

MS WILKINSON: In the morning. It was Goolam Rajah saying he was - he actually said he was looking for Percy Sonn's number. I knew that Percy Sonn and Ali Bacher were both at Pinda, but I now understand that they didn't realise they were together. I phoned both the reception at the hotel, who weren't very helpful, and then I phoned MTN enquiry service and got the number. I don't think I even asked him the first time when he called me what he needed the number for. But when I phoned him back with the Pinda number I asked him what it was for and he just said "the shit's about to hit the fan". I asked where he was and he said he was in Hansie's room. And when I asked if he needed me to come down there he said no he would call me later.

MR GAUNTLETT: And you went back to bed but it seems not perhaps unsurprisingly you couldn't sleep.

MS WILKINSON: That's right, ja.

MR GAUNTLETT: What happened thereafter?

MS WILKINSON: Goolam called me, I think it was about six, or just before six o'clock in the morning, he said he had spoken to Ali and who had suggested that he call me before six. He asked me to go to Mr Cronje's hotel room on the 17th floor. When I got there Mr Rajah opened the door. He and Rory Steyn were in the room. Mr Cronje was not there.

MR GAUNTLETT: Yes, and I take it you weren't told, nobody advised you why you were being asked to go up to the room when you received that request to go up there?

MS WILKINSON: No, not at all. Goolam just asked me to go down to Hansie's room on the 17th floor.

MR GAUNTLETT: Right. So you were in the room, what happened then?

MS WILKINSON: Steyn gave me what looked like a letter, hand-written letter on fax paper ...(intervention)

MR GAUNTLETT: Sorry do you mean by that the sort-of curly fax paper or when you say a fax what do you mean?

MS WILKINSON: It's the wax paper that's usually curly. He said I should read it and then we could talk. I think we did both at the same time, I was reading it and we were talking pretty much at the same time. I asked them where Hansie had gone, or where Hansie was and he said that he had gone to Pretoria to see Mr Aziz Pahad.

MR GAUNTLETT: You then say in your statement at paragraph 22 that what Steyn told you, and we've had this, is that Cronje, from Mr Steyn himself, Cronje had called him shortly after midnight as he thought Steyn was still a police officer. "Steyn told me that Cronje wanted Steyn to hand him over to the police. He added that Cronje had asked that I release his letter to the media. He also said that Cronje had faxed the statement to Sonn and Bacher. Rajah and Steyn told me they had called me only after Cronje had left the room because he had been in tears for much of the night. They told me that Cronje had stepped down as captain and had withdrawn from the team".

Is that correct?

MS WILKINSON: Yes it is.

MR GAUNTLETT: Now would you just help us in one respect. There is, you may have gathered, there's been some need to establish what actually happened in terms of the original statement and what was read, the faxed copy or the copy - let me put it this way, the copy that you read on fax paper are you able to say categorically to the Commission whether you know that you read all the pages or whether that might have had a missing page, that copy?

MS WILKINSON: I would like to think that I would have noticed if there was a page missing, but I didn't. I can't be certain that it was all there or not.

MR GAUNTLETT: Right. Steyn also said that Cronje had told him that everything that was in the transcript was true but what was not there was him telling Sanjay to get lost and leave him alone. Do you recall that?

MS WILKINSON: Yes I do.

MR GAUNTLETT: Then paragraph 24 you say -

"While I was in the room Rajah received a call to say Deputy Minister Pahad was going to a meeting in Cape Town that day and that....."

I take it this is in your presence....

"...Steyn telephoned a person called Mike who was driving the car that Cronje was in and asked to speak to Cronje. And Steyn briefly told Cronje that it was pointless but that Cronje had insisted on going to Bloemfontein to catch a plane then to Cape Town".

Is that what happened?

MS WILKINSON: Yes that's right.

MR GAUNTLETT: Alright. Thereafter, in paragraph 25 you say that you telephoned Cronje on the cellphone of the driver who had set off with him, the man called Mike, what did you say to Cronje?

MS WILKINSON: I said it wasn't worthwhile to drive to Bloemfontein to catch a plane to Cape Town to see Mr Pahad. I wasn't certain that there would be too many planes from Bloem to Cape Town, so I suggested that he should come back to Durban and catch a flight from Cape Town instead.

MR GAUNTLETT: In paragraph 23 you refer to what Mr Steyn has also attested to - you mean catch a flight from Durban to Cape Town?

MS WILKINSON: Sorry, ja from Durban to Cape Town.

MR GAUNTLETT: And he said to you, "so you want me to turn around", is that correct?

MS WILKINSON: Yes, those were his words.

MR GAUNTLETT: At that time they were only near Pietermaritzburg and they did that, is that correct?

MS WILKINSON: Yes I believe so.

MR GAUNTLETT: Alright. Paragraph 26 you refer to the fact you had breakfast in the team room with Rajah and a couple of the players and that you and Rajah didn't say anything about Cronje in the circumstances, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: That's right.

MR GAUNTLETT: And it was in the middle of that breakfast that Rajah received a call from Shaun Pollock asking what was going on, correct?

MS WILKINSON: Yes, that's correct.

MR GAUNTLETT: You continue in paragraph 27 by saying -

"Dr Bacher called me that morning and said I was to tell the press that Cronje had been withdrawn from the team to play Australia and that we would hold a press conference that day".

From that moment your phone erupted, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: No it actually, my voicemail melted down at one point.

MR GAUNTLETT: Alright. Now at about 9 o'clock that day the team, the South African team, had a net practice at Kingsmead and Rajah asked you to be in the dressing room when he told the players what had happened. Would you just tell the Commission, take it slowly, what happened in that meeting and what was said?

MS WILKINSON: Ja, he said that Hansie had admitted to taking money and he spoke about a man called Hamid who Hansie had spoken to him about and he described him as a large Indian man who gave biltong to Cronje and Lance Klusener. Most of the team sort-of by nodding seemed to indicate that they knew who he was talking about. The copy that I had of Cronje's statement he gave to a couple of players to read. I certainly can't say that they read it in full but I think Shaun and a couple of players glanced at it, but nobody read it in full. I then left the dressing room so that they could have a team meeting. The team were obviously all very shocked.

MR GAUNTLETT: Yes now you left behind the copy of the statement that you had received in the hotel room earlier, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: Yes that's correct. I went back to the dressing room and picked it up later. It was lying on a bench.

MR GAUNTLETT: And at that time did you notice anything in relation to a missing page?

MS WILKINSON: No I didn't. I didn't even put the pages in order. So I just folded it up and took it with me.

MR GAUNTLETT: Was it later that you noticed there was a page missing?

MS WILKINSON: It was only when I got back to Johannesburg after the Australian series.

MR GAUNTLETT: And I think you have already indicated to the Commissioner you are uncertain as to whether, when you first read it as to whether or not that page was there anyway?

MS WILKINSON: That's correct.

MR GAUNTLETT: Alright. Now Ms Wilkinson at about 1:15 that day you attended a meeting which is described at greater length in paragraphs 74 to 76 of Dr Bacher's statement, can we just deal with that briefly. Mr Sonn was there, you were there, Mr Rajah was there, Mr Green was there, that was in the team room, is that correct?

MS WILKINSON: Yes it's in the team room which is a kind-of recreation and meeting room.

MR GAUNTLETT: What did Dr Bacher say to the players at that meeting?

MS WILKINSON: He said that Mr Cronje had called him at 3 o'clock in the morning and that he had told him he had taken, or admitted he had taken money from a bookmaker. He said that Mr Cronje had been withdrawn from the team to play against Australia and that Mr Pollock had been made captain.

MR GAUNTLETT: And what did he tell them about the seriousness of the situation, what did he invite them to do?

MS WILKINSON: He said the matter was very serious and he asked them first as a group if the players had ever been involved in match-fixing. He said it was their time to come forward if they knew of anything.

MR GAUNTLETT: And did he thereafter direct some specific enquiries of specific team members?

MS WILKINSON: Yes he started with Herschelle Gibbs. He asked him to stand up and he said, I think he said something, you know you can declare in front of your team-mates have you ever been involved in match-fixing? Herschelle said "no". Have you ever been approached? Herschelle said "no".

MR GAUNTLETT: And did he thereafter follow the same enquiry with Bojé?

MS WILKINSON: Yes he did. And then a couple of other players at random through the room.

MR GAUNTLETT: And then when the random enquiries were being made did Mr Jonty Rhodes respond?

MS WILKINSON: Yes, he said, he mentioned the '96 thing.

MR GAUNTLETT: And was that immediately explicable to your Dr Bacher? Were there questions about it?

MS WILKINSON: There weren't any questions about it. It was explicable to me. As a journalist I'd recalled stories, I couldn't recall exactly when, but I knew it had come up in a press report at least a year ago.

MR GAUNTLETT: Yes. Now the press conference took place at the hotel at about 3 p.m. is that right?

MS WILKINSON: Yes it was at 3 o'clock.

MR GAUNTLETT: You deal with that in paragraph 30 of your own statement and you say that both the SABC and Supersport as well as some international channels carried the conference live.

MS WILKINSON: Yes they did.

MR GAUNTLETT: And so did some of the radio stations. That meeting you go on to describe as being a difficult meeting of controlling questions and hearing what was said. You mention in paragraph 30 of your conference a particular question by one journalist along the lines of "what are we dealing with", and Dr Bacher turned to you to ask you what the man was asking, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: Yes. I don't think Dr Bacher heard the question properly.

MR GAUNTLETT: Yes. And Dr Bacher was asked during the press conference to say what Mr Cronje had received the money for. He declined to deal with that, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: Yes it is.

MR GAUNTLETT: Now what happened after that press conference as regards you and Dr Bacher?

MS WILKINSON: We left our jackets and phones and belongings at the reception desk of the hotel and we went for a walk along the beach-front.

MR GAUNTLETT: Did you talk about that press conference and the events as they had been so rapidly unfolding?

MS WILKINSON: Yes we spoke about the press conference and then Dr Bacher spoke at length about his long-standing relationship with Hansie Cronje. He told me he was deeply shocked, deeply upset. He recalled specifically going to see former President Mandela with Hansie Cronje. He was basically he was kind-of reminiscing.

MR GAUNTLETT: The telephone calls continued to flood into you and you returned to the hotel and you were asked to comment when you got there, on the fact that Minister Balfour had issued a statement denying that Mr Cronje had received any financial reward. Were you aware of the fact that almost simultaneous with your press conference there was another one going on with Mr Cronje and Minister Balfour?

MS WILKINSON: No, not at all and as far as I was aware Mr Cronje had gone to see Mr Pahad.

MR GAUNTLETT: Yes. And from your discussion with Dr Bacher what was his reaction? Did he understand this?

MS WILKINSON: No we couldn't work out where the discrepancy had come from and why this had been said in that statement.

MR GAUNTLETT: Yes. Now you also received a call from a Mr Abrahams in the Ministry of Sport and you walked up to Dr Bacher's room to hand the phone to him, would you tell us about that conversation?

MS WILKINSON: It was a fairly heated argument between Dr Bacher and Mr Abrahams about the discrepancy. He said, he repeated that Mr Cronje had told him very clearly that he had received money from a bookmaker, that he had asked him a direct question and that Mr Cronje had told him he had received between US$10 and 15 thousand.

MR GAUNTLETT: Could you just explain to the Commission what shortly put was the discrepancy between, as you understood what was being said at the Balfour/Cronje press conference as opposed to what had happened at your press conference, what was the point of difference?

MS WILKINSON: Dr Bacher had told our press conference that Mr Cronje had admitted that he had received between US$10 and 15-thousand. When Mr Balfour was making a statement on Mr Cronje's behalf apparently that statement said he had never received any money to throw a match.

MR GAUNTLETT: Yes, and so against that background there's this heated discussion with Dr Bacher saying well Cronje says he has received between 10 and 15 thousand American dollars, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: Yes that's right.

MR GAUNTLETT: Now it's in this regard in paragraph 35 of your affidavit, of your statement at the top of page 14 that you reflect back to something that Rory Steyn had told you, what was that?

MS WILKINSON: He told me that Cronje had had to ask his wife Bertha to count the money.

MR GAUNTLETT: To do that Cronje had to phone his wife Bertha to do it?

MS WILKINSON: That's right.

MR GAUNTLETT: And then followed a conversation that you had with Mr Strydom, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: Yes. He called me that evening at the hotel, or on my cellphone at the hotel and asked if he should get legal - a lawyer. He said he was feeling very alone because he wasn't with the team, he wasn't with the rest of us in Durban. At one point I suggested that if necessary I could ask for him to be sent to join us, not as an official member of the team but so that he would be closer to what was happening.

MR GAUNTLETT: And you also gave him I think much the same advice about granting interviews, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: I said he shouldn't give any press interviews on the topic and that he should contact Mr Green.

MR GAUNTLETT: Then it's Wednesday April the 12th, you received a call, you say in paragraph 37 from the news editor of The Star, would you tell us about that call?

MS WILKINSON: The news editor of The Star is Shamiela Bugoowat(?) who was a former colleague of mine when I was a crime reporter. She said that the newspaper had been tipped off - when the stories had come out from India some of the stories had mentioned that the police had also spoken about a South African businessman of Indian descent who was a non-player, and she asked me if - she said the newspaper had been tipped off to look into a man called Marlin Arendsen, and asked if I knew this man and if indeed this was the man being referred to by the police, or if I was aware of any connection of him and Hansie, and I said "no". That wasn't the name I was aware of.

She later called me back and she said that they had been given the following information which was what they were going to run as a story the next day, and this was that the man's name was Hamid Cassim, and that he was also ...(intervention)

MR GAUNTLETT: Perhaps the easiest would be if you will just take the Commissioner through what you said point by point in paragraph 37 in relation to those subparagraphs, may be the easiest.

MS WILKINSON: Okay. She said the man's name was Hamid Cassim. That he was also known as "Banjo". That Mohammed Azaradin knew him, as did the Indian and Pakistan cricket teams. That he owns a shop in Fordsburg called "The Sweet Factory". And that when The Star's reporters had visited the shop Cassim's nephew had called him on - called Cassim on his cellphone and he had told his nephew to tell the reporters that he didn't want to comment on the matter. But the neighbours had told The Star's reporter that they had seen Mr Cronje at the shop pretty often, and that they had also seen Indian and Pakistani cricketers there as well as Mr Azaradin.

MR GAUNTLETT: And then there was the reference to Mr Igbal Khan, the journalist from the Natal Mercury, would you pick that up, carry on.

MS WILKINSON: That afternoon, it was the Wednesday afternoon was the day-night match at Kingsmead against Australia and during the match I saw Mr Khan leaving the Natal Cricket Union offices with a fax of a press report. He then took it to Mr Goolam Rajah who called me. The press report was from a newspaper in Dubai to the effect that Lance Klusener, quoting police sources, that Lance Klusener had blown the whistle on Hansie Cronje.

We asked Mr Khan to not run the story until we could get Mr Klusener's comment, but obviously he was out on the field playing an international cricket match at the time and that he would have to wait until much later that night. He agreed, but said that you know they were holding the newspaper for the story.

MR GAUNTLETT: And then what happened when the match was over?

MS WILKINSON: Immediately after the match Mr Klusener was not out and he came off the field and he was still in his pads and we took him from the dressing room, myself and Goolam Rajah, took him from the dressing room down to the offices of the Natal Cricket Union. We sat him down in a conference room. We told him the basis of this, or the basics of the story. We asked him if it was correct, if he had indeed phoned the Indian Police. He said it was crazy. We asked him if he had - that the newspaper was talking about a fight that he had had with Mr Cronje in the lobby of the Taj Hotel, Taj Palace Hotel. He said it wasn't true. I asked him if he was prepared to give those statements to Mr Khan and Mr Manthorpe who also had that story, which he then did.

MR GAUNTLETT: Yes, and did you then call - you called them, both Mr Khan and Manthorpe and ran through the Klusener answer with them, well Klusener repeated for them what he had just told you, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: Yes, Klusener gave them his answers. When he finished Mr Khan said it was a bit late for first edition that they would run the story without Mr Klusener's comment.

MR GAUNTLETT: In fact when you got a copy of the first edition what did it reflect?

MS WILKINSON: Yes I later got hold of a copy of that edition and it said in quotes -

"Despite repeated attempts Mr Klusener could not be reached for comment last night".

MR GAUNTLETT: What was your feeling about that report and its fairness towards Lance Klusener?

MS WILKINSON: I was very angry because - it was true he couldn't be reached for comment but the fact was that he was playing an international cricket match and the story was highly speculative. It didn't quote any of its original sources and it contained no comment from Mr Klusener.

MR GAUNTLETT: Then on Thursday the 13th of April you flew to Cape Town and you had a further telephone conversation with Mr Cronje, is that correct?

MS WILKINSON: Yes it is.

MR GAUNTLETT: Would you again tell the Commissioner carefully, it arises from paragraph 39 of your statement, what transpired in that conversation?

MS WILKINSON: When we arrived in Cape Town I received press queries about a story that the police had raided Hansie's house the night before to seize money, and I couldn't work out where these stories were coming from. Hansie called me to ask me to contact his attorneys, Mr Sackstein, in one to two hours as they were going to release a statement on his behalf, and asked if I would help, or facilitate the release of that statement. During that conversation I mentioned that some of the stories that were being published and being reported were quite ridiculous, and I mentioned the story that he, for instance that there was a story that his house had had to be raided by the police. And he said no that wasn't the case. I want people to know that I handed the money to my lawyers and they've handed it over to the Reserve Bank.

MR GAUNTLETT: And then there was some controversy, I understand, between you and the attorney acting for Mr Cronje about the circumstances of that, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: Yes. Later that afternoon we had a - myself and Dr Bacher and Mr Sonn attended a meeting at the Minister of Sport and Recreation's house to discuss the setting-up of a commission of inquiry. And afterwards at a press conference there was a lot of focus by the media on the money. And in reply to a direct question asking Dr Bacher where the money was now he said that he believed that it had been handed over the Reserve Bank, which is information that I had given him.

MR GAUNTLETT: And was that - was the accuracy of that information subsequently confirmed by you in your discussion with the attorney?

MS WILKINSON: The first I knew that there was a problem about it was Mr Manthorpe said that he had contacted Mr Sackstein who had denied that the money had been handed to the Reserve Bank, and I called Mr Sackstein. He called me back. He called Clifford Green. At the time I was very, very upset. I was exhausted. I couldn't even remember who had told me that the money had been handed to the Reserve Bank. At one point I thought it might have even been Mr Sackstein in our earlier conversation that day. I later took a deep breath and consulted my notebook and went back to my conversation with Hansie that morning, and told Mr Sackstein that it had been Mr Cronje who had given me the information.

MR GAUNTLETT: Then to cut a long story short, did Mr Sackstein confirm with you that the - well put it this way that you asked him whether the money had been handed over and he gave you a response, what was that response?

MS WILKINSON: He said he wouldn't deny it.

MR GAUNTLETT: Now later that media statement was produced and that is annexed by you as Annexure 4 to your statement, could you identify that?

MS WILKINSON: Yes that's correct.

MR GAUNTLETT: This is on Thursday April the 13th, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: Yes that's right.

MR GAUNTLETT: Could you just read through - you yourself had no hand in the preparation of this media release, is that correct?

MS WILKINSON: No I did not. Mr Sackstein faxed it to me at the hotel for me to pass on to various media.

MR GAUNTLETT: Would you just read through it to the Commission what Mr Cronje was saying publicly through this media statement on the 13th of April this year.

MS WILKINSON: "I find myself in an awful predicament

brought about by my own foolishness and naivete. I realise that I face certain personal difficulties of my own making, but what concerns me most is the hurt and disappointment that I have caused my wife and family, cricket fans throughout South Africa, the United Cricket Board and my team-mates in the South African Protea cricket side.

Some of my team-mates have come under the spotlight as a result of the police enquiries in India. I know of no member of any side that I have led who has done anything reprehensible or wrong. Speculation and criticism directed against other members of the team is wrong and unjustified.

As the authorities are at present unwilling to make available the information on which allegations have been made against me it is unfair and impossible for me to respond to them at this stage.

There is to be an inquiry in South Africa and possibly other legal proceedings. Until there is greater clarity concerning the basis of these allegations I have been advised that it is inappropriate for me to comment on them and on the rumours and speculation which are in circulation. All I will say is that I was not involved in match-fixing or manipulating the results of cricket matches".

MR GAUNTLETT: Just to be accurate, "in fixing, all I will say..." just repeat the sentence.

MS WILKINSON: Sorry -

"...All I will say is that I was not involved in fixing or manipulating the results of cricket matches. I always played to win.

The only light that I have seen in these last few dark days has been the magnificent victory of Shaun and his team against Australia last night. I cannot begin to express the emotion I felt when that side emerged victorious and it must be indicative of the morale and commitment of that side to have won so high profile a game under the circumstances in which they found themselves.

I am truly proud to have been associated with this side one and all and wish Shaun and the rest of the team nothing but success in the future".

MR GAUNTLETT: Then you went to the home, I think you've already referred to this briefly, together with Dr Bacher and Mr Sonn and Mr Green, to the home of the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Mr Ngconde Balfour, and you had a meeting with him and a joint press statement was released, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: Yes that's correct.

MR GAUNTLETT: And then later that evening you were on your way to your function and you received a call from one Itzy Blumberg, would you tell the Commission about that call?

MS WILKINSON: Yes he said he was an attorney acting on behalf of Hamid Cassim. I believe I was actually returning a message from him. He said he wanted the UCB to know that his client would cooperate fully with any inquiry and that he would tell the truth. He said that he would be in contact with the inquiry once it had been set up.

MR GAUNTLETT: Wednesday April the 19th in the morning you say in paragraph 42, Rajah came to your desk and he said to you that he, Rajah, had reason to believe that Gibbs, Bojé and Strydom had been approached by Cronje in regard to match-fixing and gambling, is that right?

MS WILKINSON: Yes that's right.

MR GAUNTLETT: Would you just pick up the story from then, you summarise it in paragraph 43, what did he tell you?

MS WILKINSON: He said he had received an anonymous call the week before which was during the series against Australia, that he said particularly that Peter Strydom had not been telling the full truth, and that he had investigated the matter. That he had since called Strydom who admitted to him that Cronje had actually approached him.

MR GAUNTLETT: In response did you then call Gibbs?

MS WILKINSON: Yes, Mr Rajah said he had been battling to get hold of Mr Gibbs. He asked if I knew his number off-hand as he didn't have it with him, and I phoned Mr Gibbs and passed the phone over to Mr Rajah.

MR GAUNTLETT: And did you hear what Mr Rajah in your presence, I take it, said to Mr Gibbs?

MS WILKINSON: Yes. He said he had reason to believe that Gibbs hadn't been telling the truth and that Hansie had approached him.

MR GAUNTLETT: And what did he say to Gibbs?

MS WILKINSON: He said he should think about it for five minutes and then phone him back. I believe Gibbs did phone him back a little bit later.

MR GAUNTLETT: He will deal with that. Now on Thursday April the 20th there was the meeting which has been referred to by a number of the witnesses already, and they've all confirmed the accuracy of the minutes of that meeting that you took at Dr Bacher's house, afterwards you had lunch with Gibbs at the Wanderers, would you tell the Commission what he said to you?

MS WILKINSON: Ja he said two things. The one is in the meeting he had denied that he had spoken to Mr Strydom, and at our lunch he said that he should have told them, or told us that he had spoken to Striker, Mr Strydom. And then he asked me if someone was approached and they did comply but they never received the money can they still get nailed.

MR GAUNTLETT: And how did you respond?

MS WILKINSON: I don't think it was Amstel, I think I took a big slug of Gin and Tonic. I asked him if that was the situation we were dealing with and he said no he was just asking. And I said well if he had anything else to say he should contact Mr Green.

MR GAUNTLETT: Thank you Mr Commissioner.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR GAUNTLETT

COMMISSIONER: Mr Gauntlett, Mr Fitzgerald?

NO CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR FITZGERALD

COMMISSIONER: Ms Batohi?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS BATOHI: Just one question Mr Commissioner.

You mentioned in your evidence that as a - well dealing with the 1996 offer, you said that as a journalist you did hear stories about this incident. Now when was the first time that you heard stories about that incident?

MS WILKINSON: I don't recall specifically. It was something that I had been aware of for some time and which journalists had spoken about. I don't recall specifically the first time.

MS BATOHI: Okay, that's fair enough, I don't expect you to, but when you say you had known for some time, the incident took place in 1996, just to give the Commission some idea, was it a year after that or was it you know just a short, couple of weeks after the offer was made, just so that the Commission has some indication of when you had an idea of the fact that the offer had been made.

MS WILKINSON: It came out in an interview with the Sunday Times in 1998. So it was about two years ago.

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

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS BATOHI

COMMISSIONER: Mr Dickerson?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR DICKERSON: Thank you Mr Commissioner.

Ms Wilkinson I don't know if you can address this aspect but if you can't I am sure you will tell me. Are you aware in your capacity with the United Cricket Board that after the conclusion of the tour reports are submitted by the coach and by the manager?

MS WILKINSON: Yes I know about them.

MR DICKERSON: Do you have access to the tour reports by Mr Rajah at the end of the 1996 Indian tour and the report by the coach, Mr Woolmer?

MS WILKINSON: I have briefly seen Mr Woolmer's report.

MR DICKERSON: Would there be any difficulty in making those reports available from the offices of the United Cricket Board?

MS WILKINSON: I believe they are reports that are made directly to the Board, but I am sure if they needed to be made available they could be, yes.

MR GAUNTLETT: Mr Commissioner we can help, we have already given them to Ms Batohi. It's in fact just one report by Mr Woolmer which says nothing in this regard. It has some unflattering things to say about catering and air travel on the subcontinent, but nothing in this regard. But we are very happy to make it available if it helps.

COMMISSIONER: Is that a report from Mr Woolmer, there is no report from Mr Rajah?

MR GAUNTLETT: That is so Mr Commissioner.

MS WILKINSON: I think I can help here. Mr Rajah was the assistant manager on that tour, so he would have been unlikely to have made a formal report.

MR DICKERSON: Who was the manager on that tour?

MS WILKINSON: I believe it was Robbie Muzzell.

MR DICKERSON: Could you arrange for - was there a report by Mr Muzzell?

MS WILKINSON: I am sure there would have been, but I am not aware of it.

MR DICKERSON: Could you ascertain after today's hearing whether there was a report and if there is make it available?

MS WILKINSON: I can ascertain that, ja.

MR DICKERSON: The last paragraph of your statement, paragraph 49, refers to the fact that you were speaking almost daily to both Dr Bacher and Mr Green.

MS WILKINSON: That is correct.

MR DICKERSON: And does that situation persist up until the 5th of June when your statement was signed?

MS WILKINSON: Yes.

MR DICKERSON: Mr Green is the attorney for the United Cricket Board, is that correct?

MS WILKINSON: That's correct, yes.

MR DICKERSON: Was Mr Green instrumental in the preparation of your statement?

MS WILKINSON: My statement was prepared with the advocates.

MR DICKERSON: I see. In the documents to which you have referred are, amongst other things, minutes of a meeting where you were present and where certain questions were posed to Peter Strydom and Herschelle Gibbs. It is Annexure AB12 to the statement by Dr Bacher, and it's dated the 20th of April 2000. Do you have that before you?

MS WILKINSON: Yes I do. I have never really regarded these as minutes. That was immediate notes that I took straight after the meeting. It was not really formulated as minutes.

MR DICKERSON: Yes whatever their status, whether one calls them notes or minutes is immaterial for present purposes. Present at that meeting were not only Dr Bacher, Richard Harrison and yourself, but also Mr Green.

MS WILKINSON: That's correct, yes.

MR DICKERSON: Were you aware that Mr Green had in the past acted as Mr Cronje's attorney in relation, inter alia, to his business dealings?

MS WILKINSON: I was aware that he'd helped him in his business dealings specifically.

MR DICKERSON: Were you also aware that there were arrangements in place for a series of benefit matches to be played in India in April and May of this year involving a Hansie Cronje 11 and an 11 chosen by an Indian player?

MS WILKINSON: Yes I had become aware of that, ja.

MR DICKERSON: Those benefit matches had been arranged and had with the knowledge of the UCB and had the blessing of the UCB.

MS WILKINSON: I wasn't employed by the UCB I don't believe at the time those matches were organised, so I don't know what the UCB's state or feeling was about the benefit matches.

MR DICKERSON: How did you come to hear of the benefit matches?

MS WILKINSON: It was only, I believe it was a reporter who asked me when this story broke, if we would still be sending a team. I then spoke to Dr Bacher about the benefit matches.

MR DICKERSON: And he knew about them?

MS WILKINSON: He knew about them but he said it wasn't a South African team. The reporter had asked me if our South African national team was going over to India and I said, no.

MR DICKERSON: And were you aware that in respect of those benefit matches, signing-on fees, a deposit and payments in respect of travel had been made to Mr Cronje?

MS WILKINSON: No I was not aware of that.

MR DICKERSON: Were those not certain of the payments in relation to benefit matches which you referred to in your statement ...(intervention)

MS WILKINSON: I wasn't aware of any of what the specific arrangements were regarding these benefit matches. I do know that players get paid to appear in benefit matches and that they are arranged generally by players' agents.

COMMISSIONER: You didn't finish the reference that you were going to make before Ms Wilkinson answered. Can you give it to us please.

MR DICKERSON: Thank you Mr Commissioner. I was about to refer you, Ms Wilkinson, to the bottom of page 6 of your statement, where you make reference to - well you record a reference on the part of somebody else, to conversations regarding fees for benefit matches.

MS WILKINSON: No it was my own conversation.

MR DICKERSON: The benefit matches that were being referred to there did they include or were they the benefit matches which had been arranged for April and May of this year?

MS WILKINSON: No. I was talking in general terms. I was discussing with Mr Cronje the possibility that the tapes, even if they were genuinely of his voice I felt at the time that it was possible that if he had taken those conversations and some of the lines in that transcript out of context, it could have been recording him discussing benefit match appearance fees with somebody. I wasn't referring to any matches in particular. It was a hypothetical situation.

MR DICKERSON: I have no further questions Mr Commissioner.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR DICKERSON

FURTHER CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS BATOHI: Mr Commissioner can I ask one question arising please.

These benefit matches that were arranged between Mr Cronje who, if I understood correctly, had selected his own team and another player, who was the other player involved?

MS WILKINSON: I am not entirely sure. I know it was a mostly Indian team.

MS BATOHI: You don't know who the other player was that was getting the team together?

MS WILKINSON: I don't recall. I think it might have been Mohammed Azaradin, but I don't recall specifically, no.

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

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS BATOHI

COMMISSIONER: Fees for these benefit matches would they have been paid in advance would you think, or?

MS WILKINSON: I don't know.

COMMISSIONER: You don't know. Thank you Ms Wilkinson.

MR GAUNTLETT: Mr Commissioner the witness has an increasingly angry small son to return to, may she be provisionally excused on the usual basis?

COMMISSIONER: To return to whom Mr Gauntlett?

WITNESS EXCUSED

COMMISSIONER: Where do we go from here? Is there another witness waiting in the wings?

MR GAUNTLETT: No Mr Commissioner we have been un-characteristically swift, so if it's suitable, Ms Batohi repeats that with heavy irony, if it is suitable to the Commission may we stand adjourned to 9:30 on Monday morning?

COMMISSIONER: Entirely suitable. We will adjourn till 9:30 on Monday morning.

COMMISSION ADJOURNS AT 15H22


Related Links:

Cricinfo's Coverage of Match-Fixing Allegations