COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO CRICKET MATCH FIXING AND RELATED MATTERS

HELD ON: 09-06-2000

AT THE CENTRE OF THE BOOK


ON RESUMPTION ON FRIDAY 9TH JUNE 2000 AT 09H30

COMMISSIONER KING: Mr Fitzgerald?

MR FITZGERALD: Mr Commissioner, my first witness today is Mr Henry Williams. Mr Williams does elect to give his evidence in Afrikaans, but I understand there is an interpreter here, and ruling - agreement that I have with Miss Batohi is that I will put the questions in English and Mr Williams will answer in Afrikaans.

HENRY SMITH WILLIAMS: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MR FITZGERALD: Mr Commissioner, there is a signed statement which has been prepared for Mr Williams. Regrettably it's been mislaid. May I at this stage hand up to you - oh, it's been -- thank you.

(Alarm bell rings)

COMMISSIONER KING: I really don't think we're going to be able to hold a hearing with this sort of noise. What do you say, Mr Fitzgerald, shall we carry on?

MR FITZGERALD: Let's carry on.

COMMISSIONER KING: If it becomes intolerable or anybody, particularly the legal teams are unable to hear what's being said, then we'll stop immediately. (alarm rings again) That's what's known as getting the last word in, I suppose.

MR FITZGERALD: Mr Commissioner, perhaps we should adjourn shortly and see if we can identify the sound.

COMMISSIONER KING: Well, I think the sound has been identified, it's an alarm. It's a question of finding a button to switch it off, presumably.

MR BACON: Ja, they are busy working, they're trying to get it sorted out. It's in the basement.

COMMISSIONER KING: Mr Bacon tells me that it's in the basement, and they're trying to - I think we should perhaps wait until we've got this all eliminated.

COMMISSION ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

COMMISSIONER: Yes, Mr Fitzgerald.

EXAMINATION BY MR FITZGERALD: (cont)

Thank you, Mr Commissioner. Mr Williams, there is a signed statement before you. Will you identify that that is your signature which appears on that statement?

COMMISSIONER KING: Do I have a copy? It doesn't appear to be - .

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Can you hand it up to the Commissioner? And you confirm the contents of that statement?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Now Mr Williams you played Provincial cricket for Boland, is that correct:

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: You were first selected for South Africa during the West Indies Tour in South Africa during the 1998/1999 season.

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: You were also selected for the India Tour at the end of last year, which carried through to this year.

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: You were also a member of the team that represented South Africa at the Commonwealth Games, which won a Gold Medal.

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: And just some further background, you were also chosen to represent the South African A team, which toured Zimbabwe in 1994.

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: And Sri Lanka in 1998.

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: You are not a member of the current South African National side squad. Is that correct?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: You were also not a member of the South African team which toured India in 1996.

MR FITZGERALD: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: You have, in fact, not played any, as it were, 5-day Tests for the South African National side.

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Although you have represented South Africa in various and numerous one-day internationals.

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Before dealing with the tour to India this year, can I ask you briefly Hamid 'Banjo' Cassim to whom reference has been made, is he known to you?

MR WILLIAMS: I've heard about him.

MR FITZGERALD: And what have you heard?

MR WILLIAMS: He brings biltong for the players.

MR FITZGERALD: You've never personally met him.

MR WILLIAMS: No.

MR FITZGERALD: Sorry, Mr Interpreter, when you speak will you ensure that the microphone is on as well? Now Mr Williams, if I can turn to the most recent tour to India, is it correct that you joined the team only for the one-day matches?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Did you play in the first one-day international?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: And at what stage of the tour did you sustain an injury?

MR WILLIAMS: It was the day after the first match in an exercise, training.

MR FITZGERALD: What was the nature of the injury?

MR WILLIAMS: I injured a muscle on my right shoulder.

MR FITZGERALD: The consequence of that injury, is it correct, is that you didn't play in the second, third or fourth one-day internationals?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Did you receive treatment for you injury?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: From whom?

MR WILLIAMS: Craig Smith, the physiotherapist.

MR FITZGERALD: Now we now as a fact that you played in the fifth one-day international.

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Can you describe to the Commission what was the state of your injury at that stage? Were you able to play in that match?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct. I was declared fit. It was the Saturday, the day before the match on Sunday. It was before our Team Manager, under the watch of Graeme Ford and Corrie van Zyl and the Captain Cronje.

MR FITZGERALD: And what happened? Can you explain what happened?

MR WILLIAMS: I went through the training. I finished it without any problems. I batted and thereafter I batted for three-quarters of an hour.

MR FITZGERALD: As far as you were concerned, were you fit and able to play that match?

MR WILLIAMS: I was fit, yes.

MR FITZGERALD: Now did you attend the team meeting which was customarily held prior to that match?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: And were you informed at that meeting that you would open the bowling the next day?

MR WILLIAMS: After the team was announced, Mr Cronje told me that I would be opening with the bowling the next day.

MR FITZGERALD: And as far as you were concerned, you were able to open the bowling?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: And in fact, you did open the bowling?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Can you - how many overs did you bowl?

MR WILLIAMS: I bowled 1.5 overs.

MR FITZGERALD: And why only 1.5 overs?

MR WILLIAMS: After the fourth ball in my second over Sharief Ganguly played it into the ground, it went over my head, (Williams mentions a biological term for his injury - interpreter doesn't understand)

COMMISSIONER: Is there a Roman in the house? (general laughter) You injured your shoulder.

MR WILLIAMS: ...and when I tried to catch the ball, I injured my shoulder.

MR FITZGERALD: Did you bowl any balls after you'd initially injured your shoulder?

MR WILLIAMS: Yes. I bowled one ball where I took out Sharief Ganguly.

COMMISSIONER: Not literally, I hope.

MR FITZGERALD: And you played no further role in the match?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Mr Williams, can you - on the morning of the match, on the morning of the fifth one-day International, were you approached at all by Hansie Cronje?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Can you describe the circumstances in which you were approached?

MR WILLIAMS: On the morning of the 19th I was busy preparing and finishing in the bathroom, and I came from the bathroom into my room. I saw Mr Cronje in our room with a big smile on his face. He was busy talking to Gibbs. I joined the conversation, and Mr Cronje said that somebody phoned him, he did not mention any name. There's a certain amount of money that they will give to us if we throw the game.

MR FITZGERALD: What was the amount in question?

MR WILLIAMS: US$15 000.

MR FITZGERALD: Was that amount offered both to you and to Mr Gibbs?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: And what was required of you? What did you have to do?

MR WILLIAMS: I had to do less than - more than 50 runs in my 10 overs. And Mr Gibbs had to do less than 20 runs.

MR FITZGERALD: What was your response to this suggestion?

MR WILLIAMS: I was at first very nervous, but because Herschelle agreed, I also agreed because I had a lot of respect for the Captain Hansie Cronje. If he can do something like this, why couldn't I do it. That's the reason.

MR FITZGERALD: Now that you've had an opportunity to think about what you did, what is your view on what you did?

MR WILLIAMS: Repeat the question.

MR FITZGERALD: Now that you've had a opportunity to consider what in fact you - or let me rephrase. Did you accept that offer?

MR WILLIAMS: Yes I did.

MR FITZGERALD: And now that you've had an opportunity to consider it, do you think that was right to have done that?

MR WILLIAMS: No it was not right. I was stupid, I should have known better. I want to come clean, I want to clean my name, that's why I'm telling the truth now.

MR FITZGERALD: Did Mr Cronje mention any, as it were, match figures, any targets which had to be reached or not reached with regard to the total of the innings?

MR WILLIAMS: Yes. We were not supposed to get more than 270 runs.

MR FITZGERALD: In fact, we know that the South African team scored far in excess. They scored far more then 270 runs.

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct. 320.

MR FITZGERALD: During the course of the game did Mr Cronje talk to you at all?

MR WILLIAMS: Yes, we had lunch, he came to sit with me and he said, 'H, the deal is off. We scored 320. We must now win the game for South Africa.'

MR FITZGERALD: And you've described how you went on to the field to bowl and you were injured in the second over.

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Did you receive any money in response to the approach that was made to you?

MR WILLIAMS: No.

MR FITZGERALD: Now after the fifth one-day international, the South African team went to Sharjah, is that correct?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Did you join the team or did you return then to South Africa?

MR WILLIAMS: I came back home.

MR FITZGERALD: When did you next speak to Mr Cronje, after your return to South Africa?

MR WILLIAMS: I phoned him in Sharjah to wish him well for the match that they had won.

COMMISSIONER KING: Or to congratulate him.

MR FITZGERALD: You phoned Mr Cronje to congratulate him.

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Now we know on the 7th of April certain revelations were made in the India Press and in South Africa about alleged match-fixing activities.

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: What was your response? We know as well that you were one of the players that were mentioned as being involved. What was your response?

MR WILLIAMS: I was very nervous because I saw my name in one of those tape transcripts that they had.

MR FITZGERALD: Have you since on any occasion spoken to Mr Cronje about the proposal he made to you in India?

MR WILLIAMS: No.

MR FITZGERALD: Have you spoken to him at all? Have you spoken to Mr Cronje at all about anything since your discussion in Sharjah?

MR WILLIAMS: No.

MR FITZGERALD: Have you spoken to Mr Gibbs at all about the incident?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: When was that?

MR WILLIAMS: That was after they came back from Sharjah.

MR FITZGERALD: What was the nature of your discussion?

MR WILLIAMS: About these transcripts. I phoned him and called him, what was going on now. I was concerned now, because here is this thing in the papers and so on. And what are we to do?

MR FITZGERALD: And did Mr Gibbs respond to that in any way? What did he say to you?

MR WILLIAMS: I got all my information from Herschelle because Hansie never called me personally. Hansie, according to the information I got from Herschelle, was that we should stick to the plan. We must never say that we were approached together, and that he also never asked us to do badly for South Africa. That's all the information I got from Mr Gibbs.

MR FITZGERALD: Were you also not though told that you should treat the whole thing - describe the whole thing as a joke?

MR WILLIAMS: Repeat the question.

MR FITZGERALD: Were you also not told by Mr Gibbs that Mr Cronje said you should describe the whole matter as a joke?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

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

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: What did you tell them about what had happened in India?

MR WILLIAMS: I told them that Hansie came in there with a big smile on his face, and he said this in a manner sort of jokingly that now someone approached him that he must throw a game. According to Mr Cronje it was a big joke.

MR FITZGERALD: And you were also to indicate that you hadn't accepted any offer, is that correct?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Will you describe to the Commission why that was the version you gave to your legal advisors? Why did you not tell the truth at that stage?

MR WILLIAMS: I was afraid. I did not know what could happen, what the consequences of such a thing would be and to protect Hansie as well as myself.

MR FITZGERALD: Right. Now we know on the - later that month, on in fact the 31st of May this year - sorry, can I just go back? We also know that sometime after the 22nd of May, but before the 31st of May, I can't remember the exact date, you consulted with certain colleagues of Ms Batohi. Is that correct?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: And the version that you gave them when you consulted with them was the version that you gave to your legal representatives, is that correct?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Again, can you explain to the Commission why you didn't tell the truth on that occasion?

MR WILLIAMS: As I said earlier, I was afraid, I did not know what would happen to me. And like I said, I was protecting myself as well as Hansie.

MR FITZGERALD: Mr Williams, we know that on the 31st of May this year you were phoned by Mr Gibbs. Is that correct?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: What did Mr Gibbs tell you?

MR WILLIAMS: He told me that Mark Boucher had talked to him, that he must tell the truth. He conveyed the message to me. Immediately after this I phoned my advocate Peter, I told him that I just wanted to tell the truth.

MR FITZGERALD: And on that night ...(intervention)

COMMISSIONER: So that we don't denigrate, Mr Wheelan, he's the attorney, not the advocate.

MR FITZGERALD: I think he quite enjoyed that moment of glory. And indeed, you did then that evening describe to Mr Wheelan what in fact had happened?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: And will you confirm that on the next day, the 1st of June, you consulted with you attorney and advocate?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: And you then described to them what you've testified in this court.

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR FITZGERALD: Mr Williams, have you ever bet on the outcome of any cricket match?

MR WILLIAMS: No.

MR FITZGERALD: You've now described to the Commission, in fact, what happened. Having regard for your description and in retrospect, what do you now feel about your role in this matter? Would you like to describe that to the Commission?

MR WILLIAMS: Repeat the question.

MR FITZGERALD: With the benefit of hindsight, are you able to now describe to the Commission what you feel about the role that you played in this affair?

MR WILLIAMS: Firstly, I am now happy that I've spoken the whole truth to clean my name, and I apologise for what I have done. I was stupid in the first place to accept this offer to be part of something like this. And also for the lies that I told to my legal representatives and the Commission representatives. I ask - I'm making a big apology.

MR FITZGERALD: I have no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR FITZGERALD

COMMISSIONER: Mr Gauntlett.

MR GAUNTLETT: Thank you, Mr Commissioner. Mnr Williams, het u ook nie beswaar as die vrae in kruis-voer in Engels gestel word, terwille van die buitelandse media. Is dit in die hak so?

MR WILLIAMS: Dit is in die hak, maar kan u net dit so duidelik as moontlik maak, asseblief?

MR GAUNTLETT: Ek sal probeer.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR GAUNTLETT: Mr Williams, your personal background, would you just tell the Commission, how far did you go at school?

MR WILLIAMS: I matriculated in Lukov High School in Stellenbosch.

MR GAUNTLETT: And after that?

MR WILLIAMS: After that I went to work at SFW and they established a natural beverages company was formed under Franz Stroebel.

COMMISSIONER: You wouldn't know this, Mr Gauntlett, but SFW is a winery. (general laughter)

MR GAUNTLETT: I am appreciative, Mr Commissioner, that in certain and many respects your knowledge exceeds that of anyone in the room.

MR WILLIAMS: I worked for them up until '97, and also played cricket. Doing top marketing for Pick 'n Pay, now there was an overlap between the season of the cricket with what I was doing. That's when they released me to go and play cricket.

MR GAUNTLETT: Thank you. Now you've told the Commission why it was that you mislead the representatives of the Commission and your own legal representatives, namely that you wanted to protect both yourself and Mr Cronje. Could you just tell the Commission what have you always thought of Mr Cronje? In what regard have you held him?

MR WILLIAMS: I had great respect for Hansie as a captain. I cannot say we were good or close friends, I played only seven matches under his captaincy. The manner in which he deals with matches, I can say he's one of the best captains in the world.

MR GAUNTLETT: Thank you. Now you've told the Commission how on the 7th of April, the 8th of April, when the news broke about the reports about match-fixing and your name was mentioned, that you were shocked and panic-stricken, as your statement says, about these revelations. Is that right?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR GAUNTLETT: Now did it immediately cross your mind that you had been involved in something which was clearly dishonest?

MR WILLIAMS: No.

MR GAUNTLETT: Why were you shocked and panic-stricken?

MR WILLIAMS: Because I had found out from my attorneys what kind of punishment a person who had done something like this would get. After Herschelle phoned me, I decided to - or agreed to speak the truth.

MR GAUNTLETT: Yes, now the first time you consulted with them you, for the reasons you've told us, you didn't tell the truth, and it was only after Herschelle phoned you that you decided you should tell the truth, is that right?

MR WILLIAMS: No. The first time I did not speak the truth, the second time with the Commission I also did not tell the truth, and it was Wednesday when Herschelle phoned me and he said that he would come out with the truth, and it was after that that I also decided to tell the truth, because the consequences could be very bad or worse.

MR GAUNTLETT: Now you were not part of any of the meetings at which Mr Bacher asked players to tell the truth about this incident. You have never had to answer those questions from the Cricket Board, and you have not mislead them. Is that correct?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR GAUNTLETT: No further questions, Mr Commissioner.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR GAUNTLETT

COMMISSIONER: Ms Batohi, any questions?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS BATOHI: Thank you, Mr Commissioner. Mr Williams, you've spoken about the fifth one-day international in India, when you said you believed you were fit to play. You remember that?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MS BATOHI: Was there any pressure on you to play that match by anybody?

MR WILLIAMS: None that I know of.

MS BATOHI: Did you ever open for South Africa in any previous one-day internationals that you played?

MR WILLIAMS: No.

MS BATOHI: Did you yourself think that the conditions, the pitch conditions, for example, or the conditions generally favoured you opening the bowling for South Africa during that one-day international?

MR WILLIAMS: I think so because Shaun Pollock and Jacques Kallis did not play. I think so because myself and Elvis (general laughter) Elworthy and I were the only seamers who had opened bowling - excuse me, Ma'am can you ask that question again?

COMMISSIONER: No. I think you've given the answer. That you and Elworthy were the only two seamers, with also possibly Klusener who had previous experience in opening the bowling.

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

COMMISSIONER: And Elvis is probably related to Banjo. (general laughter)

MR FITZGERALD: Mr Commissioner, can it also be recorded that he also answered that Pollock and Kallis weren't available to play that day.

MS BATOHI: Mr Williams, just referring to the incident in the hotel room when you were approached by Mr Cronje to under-perform and receive $15 000, you've explained to the Commission that because Mr Gibbs went along with this plan you were influenced to go along with it as well. You remember that?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MS BATOHI: And I think you also explained the fact that you had tremendous respect for Mr Cronje, and you felt that if he could do it, why couldn't you do it as well. Is that correct?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MS BATOHI: Now notwithstanding that, notwithstanding the fact that you had tremendous respect for Mr Cronje, it must have been clear to you as an adult that what was happening there was absolutely wrong. Is that correct?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MS BATOHI: And notwithstanding the fact that you had this tremendous respect for him, at that point did you still have respect for someone that knew was doing something that was so wrong?

MR WILLIAMS: At that moment, yes. I was also stupid. I did not know what to do.

MS BATOHI: Well, the simple thing would have just been to say, "no". Why didn't you do that?

MR WILLIAMS: I don't know. I was panicking, it was the first time that I encountered such a thing. And Hansie was the captain, if he can do something like that, then I can do it too. I just felt if he - nothing happened to him - I mean, us too, in the same boat and that's the story.

COMMISSIONER: I think, Mr Williams, what you're telling me is, is that Hansie Cronje had a great deal of influence over you. Is that correct?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MS BATOHI: Well, is it not what you said, if Hansie Cronje could get away with it, so could you?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MS BATOHI: You see, Mr Williams, the difficulty I have with what you're saying is that I accept you had respect for this man, and I accept that Mr Gibbs had accepted the offer, but as an adult yourself, knowing that this was so wrong, I just find it difficult to understand. And the fact that you say you were panicking at the time, if you're panicking it means you were afraid. Then I can't understand why you agreed to go along with this plan. Can you explain that?

MR WILLIAMS: Yes, I was panicked at the time. I also decided that seeing that Herschelle had said, 'Yes', let me also say, 'Yes'. And I did not realise what the consequences of this would be.

MS BATOHI: Were you not perhaps yourself tempted by the amount of money that was involved?

MR WILLIAMS: I can say so, yes, that US$15 000 is a lot of money. It can be that I accepted the big amount. I could have done something with it.

MS BATOHI: I accept that you've said that you regret what you did, and perhaps it was a stupid decision on your part at the time to go along with the plan. As you sit here now, do you still have the same tremendous respect that you had for Mr Cronje at the time?

MR WILLIAMS: As a person, I still respect him, but not for what he has done.

MS BATOHI: I have no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS BATOHI

COMMISSIONER: Mr Sackstein?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR SACKSTEIN: Thank you, Mr Commissioner. Mr Williams, in paragraph 7.5 of your statement you say:

"Die dag voor die wedstryd het ek ook 'n strawe fiskheid toets geslaag onder die toesig van die afrigter Graeme Ford."

Does that include a long bowling spell?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR SACKSTEIN: At the team meeting, referred to in 7.7, you say:

"In die spanvergardering op die aand voor die fyde wedstryd",

was it decided who would open the bowling?

MR WILLIAMS: The team was announced and Mr Cronje came to me and told me that I would be opening the bowling.

MR SACKSTEIN: Who opened the bowling with you?

MR WILLIAMS: Derek Crookes.

MR SACKSTEIN: Was that an aspect which was discussed at the team meeting?

MR WILLIAMS: Not that I know of.

MR SACKSTEIN: The fact of the matter is, Mr Williams, no money ever changed hands. Is that so? Perhaps to assist you, Mr Williams, did you receive any money at all as a result of this incident?

MR WILLIAMS: No.

MR SACKSTEIN: Mr Williams, South Africa won the match handily, didn't they?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR SACKSTEIN: So in effect, the arrangements which you say were made turned out to be a non-event.

MR WILLIAMS: I can say so, yes.

MR SACKSTEIN: Mr Williams, Mr Cronje himself has never spoken to you about suppressing the truth, isn't that so?

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct. Through Herschelle Gibbs, Cronje said we must not tell the truth.

MR SACKSTEIN: But this information was conveyed to you by Mr Gibbs, not Mr Cronje.

MR WILLIAMS: That's correct.

MR SACKSTEIN: Thank you, Mr Commissioner.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR SACKSTEIN

COMMISSIONER: Thank you. Mr Fitzgerald?

MR FITZGERALD: I have no re-examination, Mr Commissioner.

NO RE-EXAMINATION BY MR FITZGERALD

COMMISSIONER: Dankie, Mnr Williams.

MR WILLIAMS: Thanks.

WITNESS EXCUSED


Related Links:

Cricinfo's Coverage of Match-Fixing Allegations