COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO CRICKET MATCH FIXING AND RELATED MATTERS
HELD ON: 22-06-2000
AT THE CENTRE OF THE BOOK
ON RESUMPTION AT 09H45 ON THURSDAY 22 JUNE 2000
COMMISSIONER: Mr Fitgerald?
MR FITZGERALD Mr Commissioner at this stage ..(intervention)
COMMISSIONER: Before you start, just for your information, when the booking was made for this hall the Commission officials were told that today there was a prior booking which will mean that we will sit only until three o'clock this afternoon.
MR FITZGERALD: Thank you. Mr Commissioner at this stage I have no questions. The evidence of Mr Cronjé is consistent with that given by my clients. Should circumstances change and become necessary I will then request an opportunity to cross-examine.
NO CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR FITZGERALD
COMMISSIONER: Ms Batohi.
WESSELS JOHANNES CRONJE: (s.u.o.)
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS BATOHI: Thank you Mr Commissioner.
Mr Cronjé I was very pleasantly surprised yesterday that you coped fairly well with the questioning and your memory was actually quite good, so hopefully we will have similar success today.
Just bearing in mind what your psychiatrist has testified about, perhaps I at the outset should say to you that you shouldn't see me as being antagonistic because I think reading your statement and looking at particularly the last couple of paragraphs that you have there, I would like to believe that you and I have the same objective here, and that is to clean up the game and to make sure that this sort of thing, as far as we can do, doesn't happen in the future. But unfortunately before we get to that point there are certain questions that I have to ask you.
Firstly do you still maintain that you received no money for that 1996 last One-day match in India that was changed from a benefit to a full international?
MR CRONJE: Absolutely.
MS BATOHI: And the second question at this stage do you still maintain that you had absolutely no dealings with any bookmakers or punters from January 1997, which would have been the end of the Indian tour of South Africa, until January 2000, during the Centurion this year?
MR CRONJE: Ms Batohi I said in my affidavit that I had contact with MK during the quadrangular series when we were staying in Lahore and he contacted me on two or three occasions in which I was very, very direct at him in saying that I am not interested in dealing with him in the future.
MS BATOHI: Yes, if you remember I actually phrased my question by saying that you had no "dealings" with him. I am aware of that contact.
MR CRONJE: Ja I am sorry. I just wanted to be complete, sorry.
MS BATOHI: Just your educational background Mr Cronjé, can you just give us a brief run-down of what your educational history is like.
MR CRONJE: I matriculated in 1987 from Grey College in Bloemfontein. I did a degree, B.Com with the University of the Free State from 1988 until 1991. I have never ever practised as a commercial man other than playing cricket. I tried to enrol to do honours with the University of Free State in 1992, but never ever - failed an exam because I never wrote one, and then also I tried to enrol this year for an MBL with the University of South Africa.
MS BATOHI: Did you in fact write any exams this year?
MR CRONJE: I wrote for exams between the period of April the - excuse me, May the 15th to May the 22nd, yes, and the results will be available on the 26th of June.
MS BATOHI: So it seems like your wife isn't the only brains in the family.
MR CRONJE: I haven't received the results yet Ms Batohi.
MS BATOHI: And clearly your record speaks for itself as far as your captaincy is involved, you were an outstanding captain, that's what everybody says, and the record, as I said, speaks for itself. Do you agree with that?
MR CRONJE: Ms Batohi I've said in my affidavit that in 138 of the matches that I was captain the team won 99 of those, and as I said to you, and I am not saying it to be kind to myself or to anyone else, but out of the 39 matches that we lost I made some mistakes in those games and I know that some of the decisions that I made in the other 39 matches was - led to our defeat. So I will put my hand up and say to you that "yes, I have had some luck and I had some fortune in my time, I was blessed with a fantastic team, but I also made some mistakes", yes.
MS BATOHI: By all accounts you were a very powerful leader, very influential on the team, would you agree with that assessment?
MR CRONJE: I have said on various occasions in media conferences that because of my age with Free State and with the South African side, I see myself as a democratic leader where, and particularly since Bob Woolmer took over the set-up, that we try and deal as much with the team as we can. Obviously when younger people come into the side then that is when you try and help them along as much as you can.
MS BATOHI: But would you accept that you were a very influential person in the whole setup?
MR CRONJE: I think I was part of a very successful setup, I was part of The Management, I don't know how influential I was, I think maybe some of the other team members, or former team members will be able to help you with that.
MS BATOHI: How would you describe your relationship with the UCB, particularly The Management?
MR CRONJE: I think it will be very dangerous for me at this stage, Mr Commissioner, I don't want to get into a situation where I disclose my relationship with the United Cricket Board, I don't see how that will affect this Commission at all and I think it is very, very unfair for me to comment out of team meetings and out of the meeting room and the secluded surroundings of Dr Bacher's office. I think it is very unfair at this stage and I don't see any relevance. I am sorry to sound like I don't want to cooperate, but I think it is very unfair on the United Cricket Board and on myself.
COMMISSIONER: Well, if you could manage without that question Ms Batohi, let's go to the next one. If it becomes essential for your cross-examination, I will be prepared to reconsider it, having regard to what Mr Cronjé has just said to me..
MS BATOHI: As it pleases you Mr Commissioner.
Mr Cronjé, you have set out in your statement in paragraph 3, which has been amplified in evidence yesterday, about your first approach, but before I just deal with that, you were questioned yesterday by Mr Blumberg about when you first became aware of the problem with dishonesty in cricket and your answer I think was that it was a long time ago. I think I must just find my record, if you would please bear with me, Mr Commissioner, can you recall what your answer was there when you were asked when you first became aware of dishonesty in cricket? You mentioned two players?
MR CRONJE: I mentioned the names of Rodney Marsh and Dennis Lilley in 1981.
MS BATOHI: Yes, that is correct. But let's deal with more recent times, am I correct in understanding your evidence yesterday was that you first - Kepler Wessels was the one that mentioned to you at some stage in 1994 about the fact that this sort of thing was happening in international cricket, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: As I said to you that in the 1994 tour, during the last one day international, we as a team joked a little bit about the fact that we thought that the Pakistan team were trying to lose the game when they were 75/5, but as I said Ijaz Ahmed came in and destroyed that whole theory and I still referred back to that and thinking that how stupid I could have been to make such a comment, but it was definitely at a later stage as I tried to tell Mr Blumberg as well, made clear to me that Kepler Wessels was sitting at the same table in a mayor or a governmental reception we had in the capital next to Rawalpindi in Pakistan - I am trying to think of the name, but it will come back to me now - and he later said to me that he was sitting on the same table as Salim Malik and I think it was Mark Waugh that night, and that he was - later it became apparent to him that it must have been that night that the approach was made. He was the one that spoke about it, yes. I am not hundred percent sure and I don't think I said yesterday exactly when he made that revelation to me.
MS BATOHI: And is this the first time that you had some sort of confirmation, if I can use that word, this sort of thing was a very real problem in international cricket?
MR CRONJE: I think that was the first time, yes.
MS BATOHI: How did you feel about that, at that point when you heard about this real problem in cricket?
MR CRONJE: As I said yesterday I have a passion for the game and I have tried to play it as hard as I possibly can. I don't feel good about what I have done and I don't feel good about the fact that I know that there has been dishonesty in cricket and I can only speak for myself and for my feelings, and I think it is not good for the game.
MS BATOHI: I understand what you are saying Mr Cronjé, but I am just going to get back to my question, at that point when you heard about it, and you realised it was a real problem in international cricket, what was your feeling? What I am trying to get from you is, did you think this is something that is disgusting, that we need to sort out or did you think well, you know, it is there and we have to deal with it or cope with it, what was your feelings when you heard about it at that stage? That is what I am trying to get at.
MR CRONJE: I don't think I had an opinion on it. I wish I can say today that I directly felt "kick them out or stop it" or whatever, I can't remember that that was my opinion at the time. I wish it was.
MS BATOHI: And then early in 1995, January, you say you were introduced or you were approached by a person by the name of John?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: That was in Cape Town? When he - can you just explain, I think you mentioned yesterday that he had phoned you and said that he was a journalist, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: Did he phone you in your hotel room?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: I know you gave some explanation yesterday about why you entertained this call, but can you just explain that again today, why did you entertain this call from a person that just claimed to be a journalist?
MR CRONJE: It was common practice for myself as a captain to respond to journalists' calls.
MS BATOHI: I understand that, but wouldn't they have to, anybody could phone you and say "look, I am a journalist and would like to come up and see you", wasn't there some sort of safeguard to guard against this sort of thing?
MR CRONJE: We had later introduced a system where you have to go through the manager, that wasn't in place at the time as far as I can remember.
MS BATOHI: Are you saying you could be mistaken about that? About whether that system was in place at that time or not?
MR CRONJE: I don't believe it was in place at the time, to the best of my knowledge.
MS BATOHI: Did you ask him to identify himself in any way when he came in to your room?
MR CRONJE: No.
MS BATOHI: Is there any reason for that?
MR CRONJE: I don't ask journalists to identify themselves when I go into a press conference and there are 30 of them or even when they come up to me individually. I just accepted their word for it.
MS BATOHI: At that stage, you had already toured India prior to - well, yes, this was in January 1995, South Africa had toured India, were you part of that?
MR CRONJE: I toured India from November, October/November 1991 not as a member of the team, but as a member of the development side that travelled with the first tour and also for the Euro Cup, we briefly stopped over for four one day matches. I think it was November 1993.
MS BATOHI: So you knew what the position is in India in particular, and how crazy people are about cricketers and how they can make it quite difficult for a touring team there?
MR CRONJE: I think in the first couple of tours I saw it as a negative in the sense that people were very - I don't want to use the word nagging, but they were very onto you all the time, trying to touch you, trying to get close to you. On later tours I accepted the fact that these people were cricket crazy and they just wanted to get close to you and I saw it as a real over-friendliness rather than a negative and you cannot get angry with somebody when they are over-friendly.
I know that there were times when I lost my cool and I lost my temper because of this over-friendliness, simply because you had a bad day at the office, but as far as I can remember, my first couple of tours, I saw it as a negative and as it went on, I tried to turn it into a positive.
MS BATOHI: Well, at that stage, in 1995, didn't you think that this person, John, could be one of these fans from India who wanted to get close to you?
MR CRONJE: I don't know, he made it clear to me that he was a journalist and he wanted to conduct an interview with me.
COMMISSIONER: Mr Cronjé did you not ask him what newspaper he represented?
MR CRONJE: To be honest Mr Commissioner I wouldn't be able to tell you who 75% of reporters worked for, to be honest.
MS BATOHI: How did the conversation go after he came in?
MR CRONJE: I went up to his room, he did not come into my room.
MS BATOHI: Yes, go ahead, how did the conversation, oh, you went up to his room?
MR CRONJE: That is what I said, yes.
MS BATOHI: Why were you willing to do that?
MR CRONJE: Because I often go to reporters or to television rooms, sometimes it is set up in somebody else's room.
MS BATOHI: All right, tell us how did the conversation go.
MR CRONJE: As I said yesterday, as I walked into his room, I saw that there was no notepad or dictaphone in his room, and I wasn't really that suspicious, I thought that obviously he is not using any notes. He made it clear to me "listen, I am not a journalist, I am actually a fixer".
Later he told me that he was more specific, a match- fixer and then that he wanted us to try, he made it clear that he wanted to put money on Pakistan and he wanted us to play badly, perform badly.
MS BATOHI: I know you have on several occasions mentioned how sorry you are for what you did and you wish you hadn't, but why were you prepared to entertain this from a stranger who you had never known, he hadn't been introduced to you by anybody, it was your reputation on the line, why were you prepared to even entertain him at that stage?
MR CRONJE: As I said yesterday, I was tempted by the money.
MS BATOHI: You were prepared to take quite a risk there, because here you are, were you the captain already by that time?
MR CRONJE: Yes, I was.
MS BATOHI: There is a stranger that comes to your room, he is not introduced ... (intervention)
MR CRONJE: He didn't come to my room.
MS BATOHI: I beg your pardon, you go to his room, he is not introduced to you by anyone that you know, so he virtually walks off the street, comes to you, offers you money and you tell him you will consider it or something to that effect and then you discuss it with Symcox. Weren't you putting your reputation on the line, didn't you think about that, were you prepared to take such a big risk at that stage, so early in your international career?
MR CRONJE: I was tempted by it and I said yesterday I wish I never ever considered it, and I wish I never ever went back to my room, and I kicked him out of the hotel, but I didn't, I was tempted, I phoned Pat Symcox, shared it with him and turned it down.
MS BATOHI: If we can assume that John was one of these persons in the so-called underworld of betting, who tries to influence cricketers, then one can assume that he would have known immediately then that you were approachable in a sense, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: I think I gave the wrong impression to him from the start, yes.
COMMISSIONER: Was it the wrong impression, I mean you actually not only told him you would consider it, you went and discussed it with one of your colleagues? Wasn't he entitled to come under the impression that you were seriously considering his suggestion?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: I am going to ask you this again, why did you choose Pat Symcox to discuss this offer with?
MR CRONJE: I was trying to speak to one of the senior players and it just happened that he was the first one that came up to mind or the first one that I was able to contact, I haven't really thought about why it was specifically him.
MS BATOHI: Did you perhaps at the time feel that he might be inclined to be agreeable to such an offer?
MR CRONJE: That question never went through my mind, I was just trying to find some guidance from a senior player.
MS BATOHI: Did you mention this offer to anybody else in the team, at any stage, or any member of management?
MR CRONJE: No.
MS BATOHI: What is the reason for that?
MR CRONJE: I didn't think it appropriate, I didn't want to share it with anyone else.
MS BATOHI: What do you mean it wasn't appropriate, you had done nothing wrong, there was an offer and you rejected it, why did you not feel the need to share it with the rest of the team or with management in particular?
MR CRONJE: Well, once again, as I have said many times, I wasn't happy with the fact that I even entertained the thought.
MS BATOHI: Well, you are still not answering my question, why didn't you mention this to anybody, particularly management, so that they could be aware of this problem and perhaps do something about it?
MR CRONJE: I wish at the time I did that, I don't know what the reason was for not mentioning it to them.
I think I was ashamed and didn't want to share it with anyone, other than - obviously I shared it with Pat Symcox.
MS BATOHI: Mr Cronjé, what had you to be ashamed of, you had done nothing wrong?
MR WALLACE: Mr Commissioner, in fairness to the witness, my learned friend has already put to him that he had done something wrong in even entertaining the suggestion, so to say now that he hadn't done something wrong, is most inappropriate.
COMMISSIONER: Well, let the witness answer for himself, Mr Wallace. Answer the question please, Mr Cronjé.
MR CRONJE: I have tried to answer it as best I can, Mr Commissioner.
COMMISSIONER: Fine, thank you.
MS BATOHI: Did you perhaps not mention it to anyone because you had thought already at that stage, that maybe this is a way of making easy money?
MR CRONJE: I was tempted, yes.
MS BATOHI: I accept you were tempted at the time when the offer was made, but what I am putting to you is that, did you perhaps decide not to tell anybody else about it, because already in your mind, you had decided that this might well be an easy way of making money at some future stage?
MR CRONJE: I didn't at that stage know that there was going to be a future stage.
MS BATOHI: Let's assume Pat Symcox was supportive of this offer, what would you have done?
MR CRONJE: It is very hard to say, we probably would have gone through with it. I don't know, he was very, very adamant that we shouldn't go through with it, so it is hard to think that anyone would have entertained the thought, other than myself.
MS BATOHI: You mentioned in paragraph 11 of your statement, that you recall that when you walked onto the field for the match you were asked by Salim Malik whether you had spoken to John. At what stage was this, was this when you were walking onto the field for the toss or for - during the game?
MR CRONJE: What normally happens Ms Batohi is, half an hour before a match you meet your opposing captain about 20 yards from the pitch, you shake hands and exchange teams and then go and conduct your interview beforehand, and that was the time that he asked me that question.
MS BATOHI: So, am I correct in assuming that the entire team was present, both teams were present on the field at that time, or am I mistaken?
MR CRONJE: There may have been some members of the team still warming up, but they weren't in earshot of the conversation, it was about 20 yards from the pitch and to the best of my knowledge, nobody else would have heard or seen the conversation.
MS BATOHI: So, from that, can one actually assume that it must have been Malik, he either knew that John was going to pay you a visit or contact you, or he in fact had set it up?
MR CRONJE: I think he knew John, whether he had set up the meeting, that I wouldn't know.
MS BATOHI: But he certainly knew that John had contacted you?
MR CRONJE: That is what I was trying to put in my affidavit, yes.
MS BATOHI: Well, your affidavit says -
"I was asked by Salim Malik whether ... "
you had spoken to John. From that it would seem to suggest that Malik knew beforehand that there was going to be a meeting, but didn't know whether it had taken place, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: That is what I assume, yes.
COMMISSIONER: Well, you must read the next sentence to the witness, Ms Batohi. I think that makes it clear.
MS BATOHI: Yes, I beg your pardon.
"It was evident to me that he knew about the approach which I had received".
You then go on to say -
"I felt ashamed and embarrassed ... "
MR CRONJE: I was embarrassed that I even spoke to John.
MS BATOHI: But Mr Cronjé, once again, Malik didn't even know that you had considered at this stage, one can accept if he didn't know you had spoken to John, he wouldn't have known that you considered the offer, so why were you embarrassed, you hadn't in Malik's eyes at that stage, done anything wrong, what were you embarrassed about?
MR CRONJE: I didn't want anyone to even think that I was involved in anything or spoken to anyone or anything like that.
MS BATOHI: Then you go on to say -
"Wishing to avoid even talking about the matter, you merely nodded".
didn't you feel that by doing that, you were compromising your situation?
MR CRONJE: I didn't want to discuss this with him in the public eye, in front of the cameramen, there was 20 metres to go before we get to the pitch, it is going to look really bad if you speak to the opposing captain and exchange teams and take a long time to get onto the field. As I say I was really nervous at the time.
MS BATOHI: So in Malik's view at that stage, all he would have known is that you chatted to John. Did you at any subsequent stage during that day or that game, try to speak to him and tell him that, to find out what he knew about John's approach to you?
MR CRONJE: No.
MS BATOHI: Why not?
MR CRONJE: I wasn't curious.
MS BATOHI: You had already compromised yourself, because Malik knew that you had been approached by John. Wasn't it important for you to perhaps tell him that he was and that you didn't want to have anything to do with it?
MR CRONJE: That would probably have been the appropriate thing to do, but I didn't want to do it at that stage.
MS BATOHI: Yes, my question is why not?
MR CRONJE: I wouldn't be able to answer that, Ms Batohi. I am not sure.
MS BATOHI: Is it perhaps once again because you had already decided that this was some way of perhaps making money in the future?
MR CRONJE: Ma'am, as I said at that stage, I wasn't sure that there was going to be an approach in the future.
COMMISSIONER: Is it possible that your nod to Salim Malik might have left him under the impression that you had agreed with John to throw the game?
MR CRONJE: That could be, yes.
MS BATOHI: And if that in fact was a possibility, wouldn't it have been more important for you to set the record straight with Malik, he obviously knew something about it? Wasn't it important then for you to get to him at some stage and say to him "look, I have chatted with him, but I want to have nothing to do with this", to clear your name, so that you needn't be embarrassed every time you saw him in future?
MR CRONJE: Well, I assumed that my opposing captains know that I play the game hard and I play it fair and I don't have to give them the impression that I am not ...
MS BATOHI: Well, that may well be the case, Mr Cronjé, but you had spoken to a person, so-called shady character in the underworld, for want of a better description, and Malik knew about it, wasn't it important for you to set the record straight?
MR CRONJE: Probably it would have been the correct way of doing it.
MS BATOHI: Once again, Mr Cronjé, you chose not to do what was correct at the appropriate time?
MR CRONJE: Yes, that is correct.
MS BATOHI: Mr Cronjé, dealing with the 1996 tour, South African tour to India, if you will just bear with me, Mr Commissioner, you said that, well your first approach was from someone by the name of Sunil, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: Yes, I wouldn't call it an approach, I would just call it a casual conversation. Sunil had befriended myself and a couple of other guys in the touring party, and he just mentioned to me that if at any stage in the future, or on this tour, I had any desire to make some money, I must just contact him.
MS BATOHI: How long after this were you introduced to Mukesh Gupta or MK?
MR CRONJE: I think the discussions with Sunil took place during the one day series or during one of the matches in Mumbai, and the third test match took place after the one day series was finished, so I probably presume it was about three or four weeks after.
MS BATOHI: Is there any reason why you chose to turn down Sunil and accept Mr Gupta's offer?
MR CRONJE: I cannot give you a reason for that, I wish I can. I am absolutely not sure why.
MS BATOHI: It is just something that is a bit strange, you turn down somebody a few weeks before that and a couple of weeks later, you are willing to do business, can you explain that?
MR CRONJE: Well, once again, Ms Batohi, when we toured this year, I also turned down an offer in Dubai from a different person, and accepted one earlier from somebody in India, so to me it doesn't make sense in my own mind why I should turn somebody else down and accept it from another person. I wish I can explain it.
MS BATOHI: Just dealing with the third test against India at Kampur, this test ran from the 8th to the 12th of December in 1996, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: I will check my notes.
MS BATOHI: I think you can take it as being correct, unless you want to confirm that.
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: Just before we deal with that, you mentioned in your evidence yesterday that you and Mr Azharuddin were good friends, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: Yes, and that was the same with a lot of other players in the Indian, Pakistan, West Indies, English, a lot of sides.
MS BATOHI: Can you just describe your friendship with Mr Azharuddin?
MR CRONJE: I am not hundred percent sure when the first sort of good friendship started, but I think it was on the 1992 tour when India toured South Africa. Azhar was the captain then and I was captain of the side that played at Centurion Park, the young side, under 23 side, President's XI that played against them. I think it is since then that we have just clicked.
MS BATOHI: Would you say then that from, by the time of this third test, in December 1996, you and him were actually very good friends, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: Yes, I was good friends with him, but I was also very good friends with Curin Moré, Sachin Tendulkar, with some of the other members of the side, but yes, I would say I struck up quite a good friendship with Azhar.
MS BATOHI: Would he have had any reason to think that you would be an approachable person as far as the betting underworld is concerned?
MR CRONJE: I don't have any reason to believe why he should have known that, no.
MS BATOHI: Can you explain, this might be difficult, but you might have some inside knowledge why he would think that he could introduce you to someone like that?
MR CRONJE: No.
MS BATOHI: Did you perhaps give him any indication during your friendship that you were amenable to such, or open to such suggestions?
MR CRONJE: No.
MS BATOHI: Are you sure about that?
MR CRONJE: Yes.
MS BATOHI: The reason why I ask you is that it seems extremely strange that Mr Azharuddin would compromise himself and introduce you to Mr Gupta?
MR CRONJE: I don't believe that Mr Azharuddin knew what the conversation was about, he left the room as I said yesterday, and I don't have any other reason why he should know about my dealings with Mr Gupta.
MS BATOHI: Are you saying then that you didn't think Mr Azharuddin knew what was going to follow in that room or have some idea?
MR CRONJE: He might have an idea, but that would be speculation from my side.
MS BATOHI: Did you ever ask Mr Azharuddin, I presume you continued to be good friends after that?
MR CRONJE: I never asked him after that, no.
MS BATOHI: Why, is this something that people don't talk about in the cricketing world?
MR CRONJE: It is something that I am not proud of to talk about, yes.
MS BATOHI: You didn't have to tell him that you were involved with Mr Gupta, but did you try to get any insight into what his involvement with Mr Gupta, or knowledge or relationship with Mr Gupta was?
MR CRONJE: No.
MS BATOHI: Why not?
MR CRONJE: I thought that he just introduced me to somebody that wanted to get into diamond dealings in South Africa who wanted to buy some diamonds from De Beers in South Africa. That is what he introduced me, he also introduced me to some other members of sponsors and bat sponsors and I have never ever referred back to those sponsors to him, so this wasn't any different to any of the other dealings that I had with sponsors or acquaintances of Mr Azharuddin.
MS BATOHI: Are you saying that you really believed that Mr Azharuddin thought he was introducing you to some diamond buyer?
MR CRONJE: I don't know what Mr Azharuddin thought, but he introduced me to Mr Gupta and I discussed diamonds with Mr Gupta at first, so I don't know whether Mr Gupta then went back to Mr Azharuddin and told him about our dealings or not.
MS BATOHI: Do you have any special knowledge of diamond dealing?
MR CRONJE: Not at all. I think Mr Gupta thought that I had very good contacts with some of the businessmen in South Africa.
MS BATOHI: You then go on to say that -
"MK asked if we would give wickets away on the last day of the test to ensure that we lost"?
MR CRONJE: Yes, he asked for no heroics in the last innings, yes.
MS BATOHI: Is it correct, at that stage there was really no prospect of South Africa winning that game at all?
MR CRONJE: There was still a prospect of South Africa winning if we were able to chase I would say around 350/400.
MS BATOHI: Are you saying that at the end of the third day there was still a chance that South Africa could win that match, in your professional opinion?
MR CRONJE: Even though it was a small chance, there was still a chance.
MS BATOHI: So you are prepared to concede that it was a small chance?
MR CRONJE: Yes, I don't think that you chase 300 in the sub-continent successfully more than twice out of ten, I would say.
MS BATOHI: And at that stage Azharuddin was still batting and went on the following day to make about 160 odd, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: On the night of the third day, notwithstanding the fact that India was still batting and Azharuddin batting very well at that stage, you still felt in your professional opinion that South Africa had a small chance of winning that game?
MR CRONJE: Yes, I felt that there was still a small chance of winning the game, that would have meant that we had to get quick wickets the next morning, and it didn't look like we were going to get those, because the wicket was at that stage at its best.
MS BATOHI: I am just going to read to you from one of the South African Cricket Annuals what it says about the state of the game at the end of the third day and I would like your comment on it.
It says -
"The early dismissal of Raman gave South Africa hope going into the third day. There was a measure of tension as India battled their way to 192/5 an overall lead of 252. It was a handy lead, but a collapse from that point might have given South Africa an outside chance. Azharuddin was in majestic form though in making his third test century at Greenpark and he found the ideal partner in the unflappable Dravid, with whom he added 165."
That would, well they continued on the fourth day, but it seems like from this report, that South Africa didn't even have an outside chance unless there was an absolute collapse of the Indian team, do you agree with that?
MR CRONJE: Yes, I had a fair idea that unless there was a quick collapse, then India was probably in the pound seats, yes.
MS BATOHI: Well you see, what I am trying to figure out is why Mr Gupta would want to pay you $30 000 in cash to ensure that you lost, when that was almost a certainty anyway, can you explain that?
MR CRONJE: I was trying to rationalise to myself when I took the money, that this was in fact a very stupid bet by Mr Gupta, and that is why I took the money and that is what I was trying to put across to you that I really couldn't understand why somebody would give me $30 000 for a match that I thought we were going to lose anyway, the only chance we had was of a major collapse the next morning.
MS BATOHI: As you say in your statement -
"It seemed an easy way to make money but I had no intention to doing anything."
you didn't need to do anything, isn't that correct?
MR CRONJE: All I had to do was not to have any heroics on the last day from a team point of view, yes.
MS BATOHI: Was that your intention?
MR CRONJE: Not consciously, no.
MS BATOHI: What do you mean by that?
MR CRONJE: I didn't go there to try not, to stop myself from batting as well as I could. I gave my best throughout the game.
MS BATOHI: When I asked you whether that was your intention, you say "not consciously", are you saying that subconsciously you may well have had the intention to do something to make sure that South Africa lost?
MR CRONJE: It could have played on my mind yes, I will admit to that, but I tried my best throughout.
MS BATOHI: This doesn't make sense to me, Mr Cronjé, I don't understand that. In the one breath you say you played your best and consciously you did nothing, but in the other breath, in the very same sentence you say that you could have subconsciously done something. Can you explain that, I don't understand that at all?
MR CRONJE: In the last couple of months, I have been trying to stay away from the media and from the press in particular from articles and interviews by Mr Neill Manthorpe, because he has been very, very harsh on me simply because I think I treated him a little bit unfairly a couple of times during my career as a captain, and consciously I have been trying to stay away from him, and from his articles, but subconsciously I think it has worked on my mind.
I don't know if that answers your question or not, I am trying my best to help you, Ms Batohi.
MS BATOHI: It doesn't unfortunately. I am just trying to establish from you whether you say subconsciously it may well have been playing on your mind to ensure that you do lose the match, is that correct, is that what you are saying?
MR CRONJE: Yes, that is what I am saying.
MS BATOHI: Can you explain that?
MR CRONJE: I think that the fact that Mr Gupta gave me the money and the fact that I went out on the field, thinking about this, could have affected my professional mind as a cricketer.
MS BATOHI: So are you saying then that you may well have been doing something to make sure South Africa lost without actually knowing that, is that what you are saying?
MR CRONJE: I didn't consciously go up to any player and I will put an accent on that, I didn't speak to any single player, I didn't make any bowling change or any action to try and ensure that India wins at all, consciously, no, whatsoever. I tried my best throughout.
MS BATOHI: I understand that perfectly, what you are saying is that you didn't approach any players, but I just want to ask this of you for the last time, what did you mean that subconsciously you could have been trying to ensure that South Africa loses?
MR CRONJE: As I said to you that I tried my best throughout, whether that money worked on my mind or not, that I cannot answer to you. If it was in fact working on my mind, it didn't affect the way I performed and tried my best on the field all the time.
COMMISSIONER: Can I just ask you something on this subject, Mr Cronjé. I think it is fair to say that at the time that this man approached you, Gupta, South Africa were effectively on a hiding to nothing, in this test, didn't it strike you as odd, even suspicious, that he would have come to you and given you $30 000 to do something which was totally unnecessary? Didn't you see further into it that this man was trying to lock you in for instance?
MR CRONJE: I don't know how much of the money was actually for the third test match or how much was for future information or for future closeness or for a deposit for future or for locking me in as you would call it, or for trying to gain my friendship or confidence. As far as I can remember, I thought it was a dead give-away of $30 000 for something that we were on a hiding to nothing, anyway.
MS BATOHI: Mr Cronjé, I believe you have the stats of this game in front of you, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: Of the third test match?
MS BATOHI: Yes, that is correct.
MR CRONJE: Yes, I do have it in front of me.
MS BATOHI: Just as a matter of interest, can you just look at the fall of the wickets of the South African team during the second innings and just read that into the record?
MR CRONJE: Without looking at the record, I would think and I want to test myself, Ms Batohi.
Andrew Hudson and myself were batting together, I think the score was about 30 or 40 and we put on about 60 or 70 and then there was a reasonable collapse after that. I think Lance Klusener got 30 odd not out, I think he was the only other batsman to get a reasonable score, but I will check.
Yes, we were 29/3 and we put on 60 odd, and then there was a reasonable quick collapse after that.
MS BATOHI: Yes, I see the wickets fell at 97, 109, 127, 138, 167 and 179, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: Was there any particular reason for that massive collapse on the part of the South African team on that day?
MR CRONJE: I think that the wicket starts turning a lot more as the game progresses, I will have a look now who took the wickets, but I think also as the ball gets older in the sub-continent it gets scuffed more and there is more reversing.
MS BATOHI: Are you saying that that $30 000 had nothing to do with ensuring that the wickets fell in the way that they did?
MR CRONJE: Not at all, nothing whatsoever.
MS BATOHI: The next offer that you get is the 1996 offer, which falls within the terms of reference, you know which one I am talking about, the last One-day match in India which was upgraded from a benefit to a full One-day international?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: I am going to ask you at this stage, there has been evidence, and I think you have alluded to it slightly, that at that stage the team was in a particularly low, well they were down and they were injured and nobody was particularly happy to play that game and it seemed an almost certainty that South Africa was going to lose this match in anyway, is that a fair assessment?
MR CRONJE: The players were really down, it was a long tour, I was particularly upset with the United Cricket Board for organising a match which at first when I looked at the itinerary, was in my mind a benefit match and had similar looks to it than the 1994 game against Holland after the tough England tour, and I was upset about that match.
As it happened our coach, Bob Woolmer was in particular very sick, he had in fact picked up a chest infection and was very, very ill. It also affected players. I think Dave Richardson was in bed, Fanie de Villiers was in bed, Lance Klusener was in bed, Gary Kirsten kept wicket and if you understand travelling in the sub-continent, 63 days of getting up at four o'clock, travelling an hour by bus through the streets of Mumbai, waiting two hours for a flight, travelling up and down the country, for a One-day triangular, three test matches, three first class matches, and you lose the series, by the end of that, you are pretty tired, dejected, yes.
MS BATOHI: And to use your words that you used yesterday during cross-examination, you said it was "obvious that we were going to catch a serious "klap" in that game".
MR CRONJE: In my professional opinion, we were up against it, because as I said to you, we were without Donald and Rhodes who had already gone home. We were without Richardson, de Villiers only bowled, well was only going to bowl a certain number of overs at the time, because we knew he had a huge temperature, so if I was a betting man, and I would think that a lot of the people in the room, will believe that by now, I would probably have put money on India, yes.
MS BATOHI: And then you get this offer, R200 000 to lose the game.
MR CRONJE: Dollars.
MS BATOHI: $200 000, I beg your pardon, a big difference these days, to lose a match that in your words, you knew you were going to "catch a serious 'klap'" in, and on all accounts, that was a lost game. Now, what was different, and let me put it in context, this offer in this 1996 game, the last One-day comes three days after your acceptance of $30 000 from Mr Gupta, which would have been on the 10th of December. This offer comes on the 13th of December, three days later, it is exactly the same situation you find yourself in, a game that we are going to lose anyway, why don't you take the money?
MR CRONJE: I shared it with the team and I felt that if the whole team was not going to be in, then I didn't want to get any of the other players involved in it.
MS BATOHI: But Mr Cronjé, you had every opportunity of telling Mr Gupta "fine, I will speak to the players" as you did on the previous occasion, do nothing and make easy as you put it, money for jam, why didn't you do it?
MR CRONJE: I don't know, I don't know why I didn't accept the money, I probably should have done, and I would have been a richer man for it because it was easy money and you are hundred percent right. But I didn't accept it, and when I phoned Mr Gupta the last time, I in fact said to him that we are playing an understrength side, but none of the guys are interested in taking the money anyway.
MS BATOHI: That is what I cannot understand, Mr Cronjé, you have an offer which is up to $250 000 which you could have either taken yourself, which you had done three days before that, you had taken a much lesser amount, you could have taken it for yourself or with one or two players that was willing to go along with this plan, because it seems from some of the evidence before us, that one or two players were keen to go along with this plan. Why didn't you take it, tell nobody about it and get this money for jam? You yourself say how much you loved it.
MR CRONJE: I don't know why I didn't take it. There is no apparent reason in my mind why I didn't take it.
MS BATOHI: With hindsight a foolish decision, would you not say?
MR CRONJE: I was very annoyed with myself for not taking it, yes.
COMMISSIONER: You see Mr Cronjé, there was a stage when it seems to me, you did give it serious consideration, and I must tell you this, I have difficulty in understanding when you say that the phone call to this man to increase the offer, was all done in a sort of spirit of jest and joking. It does indicate a little to me, and I am giving you an opportunity to dispel it, to correct me if I am wrong, but you were seriously nibbling at the proposal?
MR CRONJE: I think the phone call was more a gesture of bravado or trying to say to the rest of the guys "let's see how much we can get here" and maybe my way of showing a little bit of my naughty side to them.
MS BATOHI: Nothing stopped you Mr Cronjé, from phoning Mr Gupta when you were alone in your room at some stage that night, and said "look, I have changed my mind, we will do it", isn't that correct?
MR CRONJE: Nothing stopped me, whatsoever, no.
MS BATOHI: You still maintain you did not?
MR CRONJE: I didn't phone him to ask him for the money, no, I wish I did, but I didn't.
COMMISSIONER: Gupta strikes me as a bit of a soft touch if he was offering you $250 000, when you were on a as we both agreed, on a hiding to nothing.
MS BATOHI: I am just going to briefly deal with exactly what happened in that meeting, briefly I say because we have had a lot of testimony about it. There is just one or two things that I would like you to answer about that meeting.
Is it correct that when this was put to the team, you were hoping that the team would accept it?
MR CRONJE: I made it very clear from the start of the meeting, that this was an opportunity and if ever there was going to be an opportunity for a team to take easy money, that this was probably the time to take it, because in my mind, even though it was my 50th One-day international and my 100th - 100th One-day international and 50th as captain, I didn't see it as a One-day international in that way, and that I felt that if ever there was an opportunity for a team to do it as a team, and it might look strange to you now, that a South African team would even think about it, but after 63 days, I think that was the feeling of some of the members of the team, but I also made it clear that in my opinion, that if we were going to do it, then the whole team must be in on it. I didn't want to take it, if there were 14 of us in the room, all 14 had to be in, not just 13, but all 14.
MS BATOHI: I hear what you are saying, but my question to you is were you hoping that the team would agree?
MR CRONJE: I didn't really have a strong view on it, I probably would have gone for it if the team had gone for it, yes.
MS BATOHI: What you were effectively doing at this time, Mr Cronjé, by putting it to the team is that you were in the process of corrupting young players, isn't that correct, thinking about something like this?
MR CRONJE: Ms Batohi, I have, on the 7th of April, I got a huge wake-up call when I read the newspaper or heard the report that there had been people taken into custody in India. Up until that stage, I didn't realise that I was playing with such big fire. I was only later, on the 11th of April, told that in fact what I had done was a corrupt act and was punishable under the Corruptions Act and also faced chances of extradition.
MS BATOHI: I am not speaking about the legalities of it at all, Mr Cronjé, what I am saying to you is that what you were doing at that stage is that you were making innocent players start thinking about doing something that was dishonest.
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: Why did you do that?
MR CRONJE: I didn't see the bad side of it at the time. When I say the bad side, I didn't think that it was bad, bad, bad, I am just saying that I thought it was okay-ish.
MS BATOHI: Are you really saying that you thought at that stage it was okay to put a proposal like that to the team?
MR CRONJE: As I said to you, I thought that in my opinion it wasn't a very important match, but looking back now, a One-day international playing in your South African clothing, it was a huge mistake on my part, yes.
MS BATOHI: Please bear with me, Mr Commissioner. You say in paragraph 19 of your statement that you had no further dealings with either MK, John or any other bookmakers or punters on that tour, but effectively that was the end of the tour, isn't that correct?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: And immediately following on your return to South Africa, India then came to South Africa on a tour?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: That would have been the end of 1996, early 1997 and you say MK also came to South Africa?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: You then go on to say that he was in Durban for the first test and in Cape Town for the second test.
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: And you state that during the first and the second test, you were asked to provide information is that correct?
MR CRONJE: He asked me what would I thought would happen in the first test match and I said that I think South Africa had a very good chance of beating India handsomely, yes.
MS BATOHI: It was during the second test which took place at Newlands from the 2nd to the 6th of January 1997, that you were asked to tell him at what score you would declare and after that you found that he had transferred a sum of R50 000 into your Bloemfontein NBS account?
MR CRONJE: $50 000.
MS BATOHI: $50 000, I beg your pardon, yes.
MR CRONJE: Yes, he asked me at what stage we would declare in the second innings and I gave him a rough estimate of a score.
COMMISSIONER: That is very important information, I should have thought to somebody in Gupta's position, when you can do a spreadbet for instance, do you agree with me?
MR CRONJE: I think in the game of betting, probably. If you give somebody a score, then that is probably a good chance that he will make money on it, I suppose. I haven't actually physically bet on a cricket match, but I would think that that is the case, yes.
COMMISSIONER: Particularly with the spreadbet, if somebody makes a book, if you estimate 270 runs, then or a line-bet, the bookie can take bets as to whether South Africa would declare or the innings would make more-or- less, this sort of - you weren't here, but Neil Andrews told us all about that type of betting.
The only reason I ask you this is because in your statement, the one that you read into the record, you say-
"I was only asked to tell him when and what score we would declare."
And I am suggesting that that would have been valuable information, do you agree with me?
MR CRONJE: Ja, I would think so.
MS BATOHI: Just in a nutshell Mr Cronjé, from your meeting with Mr Gupta on the 10th of December, when he gave you the first $30 000 until, well, if one looks at the statement that you handed in yesterday, the 10th of January when the $50 000 went in, within a space of one month, Mr Gupta had invested $80 000 in you, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: And if one looks at your account, there is a money transfer on the 15th of January 1997 for R139 000 and doing some quick sums, it would appear that given the exchange rate at the time, that is the equivalent of about $30 000, would you agree?
MR CRONJE: If you divide R139 000 by 4.6, I would think that is probably correct, yes.
MS BATOHI: Can you just explain, just repeat what your explanation was about this amount yesterday, I cannot quite remember? What is this amount?
MR CRONJE: I want to make something clear to you, Ms Batohi, I think we are missing one another here. The $30 000 dollars that was given to me in India for the third test match, was never paid into a South African bank account, I want to make that clear to you.
MS BATOHI: Whilst we are on that point, what did you do with that money?
MR CRONJE: I kept it in cash and eventually it found its way to, I took it over to England when I played for Ireland in 1997.
MS BATOHI: Did you bank it at any stage?
MR CRONJE: Yes, I banked it through my NatWest account, yes.
MS BATOHI: Can you recall when that would have been?
MR CRONJE: 1997, when I played for Ireland.
MS BATOHI: So this deposit, I am interested in this amount in your account of R139 000, what as far as you are concerned, where did that money come from?
MR CRONJE: As I said to you yesterday when Adv Wallace was cross-examining me, when I first wrote my affidavit, I did not have the benefit of my bank statements, and it was my opinion that Mr Gupta had transferred one amount into my bank account for the information for the first and the second test match. It was put to me by my legal side that there were two amounts that were transferred into my account in a very short space of time, and I said that it might have been the fact that Mr Gupta had in fact transferred two amounts rather than just one. I wasn't sure about that, they weren't sure about that, my auditor is busy finding out exactly where that money came from.
MS BATOHI: So if this money also came from Mr Gupta, as you presume it did, then in the space of just over a month, he invested $110 000 in you?
MR CRONJE: That could be correct, yes.
COMMISSIONER: That amount of R231 000, also taken to 4.6 to the dollar, seems to me to work out at $50 000?
MR CRONJE: Yes, I think we worked out that it was just under $50 000 yesterday, minus commission or something, I suppose, yes.
COMMISSIONER: You do describe it in your statement as a sum of about $50 000?
MR CRONJE: Yes, I didn't have the benefit of these statements at the time of writing the affidavit, Mr Commissioner.
MS BATOHI: Mr Cronjé, have you recently looked at your NatWest accounts?
MR CRONJE: I only have one NatWest account.
MS BATOHI: Have you recently looked at it, statement that is?
MR CRONJE: I checked it ...
MS BATOHI: Sorry, the statements?
MR CRONJE: Yes, I checked the statements from the 1st of April this year and I believe it has gone from about 600 pounds to 1,900 pounds.
MS BATOHI: You haven't looked at it for the period prior to that, recently?
MR CRONJE: Yes, I do look at it occasionally. I think every three months they send over statements, yes.
MS BATOHI: Is it possible that if you, there may be similar sorts of amounts in any one of your accounts, that you may not be able to account for as you cannot for this particular one?
MR CRONJE: I can account for that amount by saying to you that there is a possibility that it came from Mr Gupta. The accounts that I know from the top of my head, is the NBS savings account and the NatWest account in the UK. If there was any transfers of any money, it would be into one of those two accounts.
MS BATOHI: What I am putting to you Mr Cronjé is that you had completely forgotten about this additional, you shake your head, am I incorrect?
MR CRONJE: I haven't forgotten about it, I wasn't aware of it. I thought it was all done in one amount, to the best of my knowledge when I wrote the affidavit, I thought it was one amount that was transferred.
MS BATOHI: Yes, but that one amount would have been $80 000 and not $50 000?
MR CRONJE: I couldn't remember the amount at the time, it was only made apparent to me when Adv Wallace came up, when he asked for the statements. What that amount was, I couldn't remember the exact amount, that is why I said "about".
MS BATOHI: Are you saying that you couldn't remember whether Mr Gupta had paid you $50 000 or $80 000 on that occasion, is that what you are saying?
MR CRONJE: I was under the impression that it was $50 000.
MS BATOHI: Did you just forget about the other $30 000 Mr Cronjé, it is a lot of money in my book, certainly?
MR CRONJE: I didn't forget about it, and I don't want to sound rude, but sometimes our salaries do go up quite a bit, and in a month it can vary from R40 000 to sometimes over R100 000. I am terribly sorry if I sound blasé or naive, but huge sums of money do go in and out of your account.
When you are away on tour, especially for three months, that account can go up and down, and it can be quite substantial.
MS BATOHI: There is another cash deposit of R90 000.
COMMISSIONER: I am sorry, I don't want to misunderstand you, this amount of R139 000 odd, do I understand you to be suggesting that that could represent salary or other benefits or do you accept that that came from some other source?
MR CRONJE: The statement that you have in front of you, Ms Batohi, of the R90 000, next to it it says cash deposit and it also says EFT. From the best of my knowledge and from being told by my auditor and from my personal negotiations or my personal dealings with my bank, that is the transfer from the United Cricket Board for our salaries. I know it says next to it cash deposit, but it is in fact an inter-branch transfer code that they use, EFT, so that would be my salary from the United Cricket Board of South Africa.
COMMISSIONER: So then to revert to my question so that the R139 000 is not your salary obviously?
MR CRONJE: If it says cheque deposit next to it, then it is not my salary, yes.
COMMISSIONER: Well, it does say cheque deposit, but I understand that that is an incorrect description. This is a peculiar situation, we have one page of a statement and I have already been told about three incorrect descriptions, that was apparently a money transfer?
MR CRONJE: The R231 000 and the R139 000, I understand says cheque deposits, but the R231 000 I was told was a transfer and I can tell you Mr Commissioner with surety and absolute hundred percent that the EFT that says cash deposit of R90 000 next to it, is salary from the United Cricket Board of South Africa.
COMMISSIONER: Well, then what does the R139 000 represent, nevermind the shape of form in which it got into the credit of your account, what does it represent?
MR CRONJE: As I say once again, I am not hundred percent sure, I will have to go and check that, I wasn't prepared from a financial point of view, when I walked in here Mr Commissioner.
MS BATOHI: Can I get clarity on that, you say you are not hundred percent sure, but you conceded that you think it was an amount that was paid by Mr Gupta into your account?
MR CRONJE: The reason why I say that it was from Mr Gupta is it was done in a five day period, so it could have been, yes. I assume it was from Mr Gupta.
MS BATOHI: Just one last issue on this 1996 offer before I move on from there, during the discussions by the team, there were obviously a number of people who spoke out firmly against it, and you have mentioned them, can you recall who were the players who were prepared to think about it?
MR CRONJE: Ms Batohi, I put the proposal to the team, and it was discussed. I don't know if Mr Commissioner, you want me to answer that question, because it may just put people in a bad light, and also if I answer that question, it will be with the five or six years ago, and I may be incorrect in naming a player and I don't want to do that.
COMMISSIONER: Well, I am not prepared to disallow the question, I think it is a relevant question, but obviously as you indicate it is five years ago, so if you are unsure, you must say so.
MR CRONJE: Okay, what I can say with surety is that Daryll Cullinan, Derek Crookes and Andrew Hudson were very much against it. A lot of the younger players didn't say much and that leaves the bunch of senior players who were I would say uncertain whether to accept it or not.
MS BATOHI: Who were they if you can remember?
MR CRONJE: The senior players on the tour at that time was myself, Dave Richardson, Brian McMillan, Pat Symcox, I think you can term Gary Kirsten as a senior player at the time, did I mention Fanie de Villiers as a senior player, no, Fanie de Villiers, those were the senior players, so those would probably be the ones that spoke up, whether they said they were for it or against it, that I cannot give with any surety.
MS BATOHI: My initial question to you was whether you can recall who the players were that were prepared to go along with it?
MR CRONJE: Nobody was prepared to go along with it, because the offer was rejected.
MS BATOHI: Perhaps you misunderstand me, the question to you is some players were clearly against it, some players were prepared to consider it, and can you recall who those players were?
MR CRONJE: Ma'am, if you go into a selection meeting and there are five selectors, we all discuss and some players play devil's advocate, some selectors will play devil's advocate, so it is very dangerous to walk out of a selection meeting and say that Mike Proctor definitely wanted Shaki King to play in the next game, and that was just because he was being devil's advocate to try and push for the, to put the other side as well.
COMMISSIONER: Is that the same devil that has previously been mentioned in these proceedings, Mr Cronjé? (General laughter).
MS BATOHI: Mr Cronjé, that may well be so, but I would like you to disclose who the players were that were willing to consider that offer.
MR CRONJE: Ms Batohi, I am trying to help you as best as I can. I am not going to disclose the names of the other players, as that will put them in a bad light, I am not going to do it with absolute hundred percent surety, so I am not going to disclose that. I am terribly sorry Mr Commissioner, but I am not going to do that, because at the end of the meeting, it was rejected by the entire team and I will be out of order if I mention the names of other players.
MS BATOHI: Mr Commissioner, I just feel that it is an important aspect, our function is, bearing in mind what the Commission's function is, I am not sure how you wish to deal with this aspect.
COMMISSIONER: Well, I think if one uses a process of elimination, you know who of the senior players voiced their opposition to it, that is clear not only from Mr Cronjé's evidence, but from earlier evidence, and you know who the other senior players are, and I think one can make the necessary deduction from there. I don't think one wants to press Mr Cronjé any further to making disclosures. I think we must draw our own conclusions.
MS BATOHI: I will leave it at that then, Mr Commissioner.
I hear whispers of tea time on my left, I am not sure if it is time for the adjournment.
COMMITTEE ADJOURNS AT 11H02
ON RESUMPTION AT 11H25
WESSELS JOHANNES CRONJÉ: (s.u.o)
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS BATOHI: (cont)
Mr Cronjé there is just one thing I want to ask you before I continue with the line we were on before the short break.
You mention in paragraph 19 of your statement that you believe that MK was one of the bookmakers referred to in Dr Bacher's statement who were in his presidential suite. Why do you believe this to be the case?
MR CRONJE: I know that he was in the country and I know that Dr Bacher referred to a bookmaker that was in his presidential suite. So it was merely speculation.
MS BATOHI: Well there are lots of bookmakers Mr Cronjé, why did you speculate and think that the one that was in his suite was in fact Mr Gupta?
MR CRONJE: Because it's just a coincidence with the game, that's all, the same game, the same mentioned by Dr Bacher I believe.
MS BATOHI: We can get back to that later perhaps. You then state in paragraph 20 that you had after the 1996/1997 tour, Indian tour of South Africa, MK contacted you on a few occasions. He requested information and you said you think this was during the triangular One-day series in Pakistan. You go on to say -
MR CRONJE: I think at that stage I had built up enough resistance to help him.
MS BATOHI: Sorry, you had built up resistance to help him?
MR CRONJE: Yes, that is correct.
MS BATOHI: What do you mean by that?
MR CRONJE: I said no to any request from him.
MS BATOHI: Mr Cronjé within the space of just over a month, Mr Gupta had invested about between $80 000 and possibly $110 000 in you, and he wants only information, not even try to fix a match, simply information and you refuse. On what basis did you do that?
MR CRONJE: I felt bad about it because I knew it was wrong to take money for information.
MS BATOHI: When did you realise that?
MR CRONJE: At various times, guilt would come to me and I would feel that it is not right, what I am doing.
COMMISSIONER: Mr Cronjé, I hope I am not understanding you, misunderstanding you, you say you felt it was wrong to take money for information, if he had approached you to throw the match, would your attitude have been different?
MR CRONJE: My attitude would have been the same at that stage, I had built up enough resistance to now speak to Mr Gupta about any cricket information.
MS BATOHI: Just explain to us, how did this happen, when did you decide that you were not going to get involved in that again, that must have been quite a realisation for you because you had already taken a lot of money. When did that happen, and how did it come about?
MR CRONJE: I cannot give you a specific date and I cannot give you a specific reason.
MS BATOHI: All right, you don't have to give me a specific date, but just give the Commission some idea of how, when you took this decision and for what reason.
MR CRONJE: I wouldn't know Ms Batohi, I am not hundred percent sure.
MS BATOHI: So you don't know why, but you just decided and your love for money, at that stage, had that gone out of the window?
MR CRONJE: I think my resistance to accept any more money from Mr Gupta, overrode my love for money at that stage.
MS BATOHI: Just so that I don't misunderstand you, are you saying that you didn't want to take any more money from him, or had you decided you were not going to take money from anybody?
MR CRONJE: I was trying my best not to take money from anyone.
MS BATOHI: So, if that is in fact correct, what caused you to start dabbling in this again in January this year?
MR CRONJE: I think the approach made to me by, well the offer made to me by Marlon was a stab at my background and the reason that I was involved, the fact that I was involved in the past, made me more susceptible to it this time around.
MS BATOHI: Just getting back to Mr Gupta, when you refused to give him information, what was his reaction?
MR CRONJE: I don't think he was too upset about it.
MS BATOHI: He was not, so he was happy to let that, he thought he had got sufficient value for his $110 000 or
$80 000 from you, is that the impression that you got?
MR CRONJE: I thought that he was more than happy with what he got in the past, yes.
MS BATOHI: And he simply accepted it and disappeared from the scene, is that what you are saying?
MR CRONJE: He tried me out for a couple of games during the quadrangular, but I wasn't falling for it.
MS BATOHI: And after that, he just disappeared, he never contacted you again?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: Neither did John or Sunil or anyone else that you had already made contact with?
MR CRONJE: I spoke to Sunil during our tour to India this year and I also spoke to him in Sharjah this year and Sunil is really somebody that will just come up to you and talk to you as a friend, who was - took me out for a meal once this year in India and sat in the same restaurant as us every morning of the Sharjah Cup, spoke to me on a friendly basis and once came up to me and wanted to know from me whether I was playing in the fourth match of the Sharjah Cup. I said to him I wasn't playing and he said that he wanted to put some money on the match.
I don't know whether he put money on it or whether he didn't put money on it. He certainly didn't ask me to help him with anything other than just to give him the information as to what the South African team would be for that day. I think more out of curiosity than anything else.
MS BATOHI: Did you play in that match, the fourth match?
MR CRONJE: I did not and at the table I told him that I was not playing, I told him that Shaun Pollock would be captain, my wife was sitting next to me, so was Corrie van Zyl and his wife.
MS BATOHI: From your experience with Mr Sanjay, who we will deal with later, he was an absolute pest and out to, well from your experience it would appear, that he made himself a pest and he was determined to get information or get you involved in match-fixing - let me rephrase that - he was essentially a pest, nagging you all the time, is that correct, he wouldn't leave you alone?
MR CRONJE: It didn't start off that way no, he was initially very understanding that I didn't want to get involved in influencing the result of a game, because he wanted to see us get into the final. I made him understand that we wanted to get into the final of this triangular One-day series, so he just phoned for a little bit of information.
Because we lost in Durban, I made him understand that there is no way in South Africa that I was going to try to influence any game or any result. All that he got out of me in South Africa was the odd bit of information, for argument sake, if we get to East London, he would ask me what the sort of weather was like, what the pitch was like, that sort of thing, Ms Batohi.
MS BATOHI: You see, Mr Cronjé, what I find strange is that from all accounts these people, once they have you in their hands, so to speak, become very determined to make sure that they can get as much information from you, out of you as they possibly can, and they don't leave that easily.
I just find it strange that the three people that you had met, the one that you had serious dealings with, would simply disappear from the scene after January 1997, not even try, well, not, well MK contacted you during the triangular series later, but they simply disappear from the scene after that, they knew you were approachable, they knew that you were one that they could do business with, yet you don't have any further approaches from them?
MR CRONJE: Ms Batohi, in the instance of MK and in the instance of Sanjay, I built up enough resistance to tell them that I don't want to further go on with any plans, any information, any dealings, whatsoever.
COMMISSIONER: What caused your change in attitude, what caused the change of mind, can you give me some idea?
MR CRONJE: I knew that what I was doing, was wrong.
MS BATOHI: What caused you to change your mind again, at the beginning of this year?
MR CRONJE: I knew that what I was doing was wrong, I phoned Hamied and told him that I don't want to speak to Sanjay ever again after the last match in India and I never spoke to Sanjay ever again in my life, after the telephone call the morning before the fifth One-day international.
MS BATOHI: I understand that, but you say that you had built up sufficient resolve and you decided didn't you, it was wrong, so why did that change at the end of January when you decided to deal with Mr Aronstam and then with Sanjay?
MR CRONJE: I have never been an alcoholic and I have never been addicted to nicotine, but I believe that it is very similar to an alcohol problem, that there are times when you give in to certain temptations and there are times when you have enough resistance to say no to it.
MS BATOHI: Just before I move on from there, the $30 000 cash that was given to you by MK, how did you get it out of India?
MR CRONJE: I took it out of India in a kitbag of mine, underneath some of my clothing that I had as hand luggage.
MS BATOHI: Did you bring that into South Africa before taking it through to the NatWest account, how did that work?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: Was this amount ever declared at any stage?
MR CRONJE: No.
MS BATOHI: I am going to deal with the Centurion issue now.
You testified about your meeting, or first the call you received from Mr Aronstam, did you, let me get this clear, did he phone you and then did you meet him in your room, is that correct, on the same night?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: Mr Aronstam was a stranger to you and on your own evidence, you had not previously heard of or spoken to him as you state in paragraph 25, why were you prepared to invite him up to your room, or to agree to meet him at a later stage?
MR CRONJE: Mr Aronstam said to me that he was a cricket lover and he was interested in getting a match on at Centurion the following day and he had a suggestion and he wanted to meet me in my room.
MS BATOHI: Well, how is it that you were so easily convinced, anybody could have phoned you and said "I am a cricket lover, I would like to chat to you" and I am sure you would't entertain such calls, you probably get a lot of those calls. What caused you to take Mr Aronstam's call seriously?
MR CRONJE: Just to correct you, I do get a lot of those calls and I do entertain a lot of those calls, and I do speak to a lot of people, I try to be as friendly as I can to whoever calls me. There are obviously the odd occasion when you don't have the time, or you don't have the need to speak to somebody. Mr Aronstam said to me that he wanted to talk to me about the following day, that is why he wanted to come to my room.
MS BATOHI: I didn't realise it was quite so easy to meet the national captain of the side, but in any event, he then came to your room later that evening, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: I think it was about half past nine.
MS BATOHI: I am not going to go into any detail about what you testified about already, at what stage did Mr Aronstam reveal to you that he was involved with, I think you dealt with this during cross-examination yesterday and you said that he may not have mentioned NSI that night, but he mentioned a listed company, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: That is correct, his first line of approach was that he would be willing to donate a sum of money to charity if in fact Nasser Hussain and myself would be prepared to give the public something back for their money.
MS BATOHI: Did you ask him what sort of business he was involved in at any stage in the conversation, what sort of company it was?
MR CRONJE: Not that I can recall that night, no.
MS BATOHI: Was there any suggestion that evening of betting or anything like that, that night?
MR CRONJE: I think that it was clear to me that Marlon was a cricket lover and that he was in fact a gambler, if you want to put it that way, yes.
MS BATOHI: Did it ever occur to you that his interest in making a game of it, might not be purely for entertainment purposes but because it might actually benefit him in some way in his gambling practices?
MR CRONJE: It may have done, but I mean what good can it do anyone when you are not sure what the end result is going to be, I mean how is it going to affect anyone, how is it going to help anyone?
COMMISSIONER: I think it will help him immensely, Mr Cronjé if there is a book open, or to be opened on the result, and to any sane person, there can only be one result, and that is a draw, and a special match is contrived for whatever ancillary purpose it may have been, which has the effect of ensuring a result, that could be very, very meaningful information to somebody who is interested on the betting on the outcome of the game, surely.
MR CRONJE: If that was Aronstam's idea of trying to get me to, to try and make a match of it, then I wasn't aware of it. He basically wanted me to open the game up for the public and wanted to make a spectacle of the game.
COMMISSIONER: I am not suggesting by my question that you were aware of it, but do you agree with me at hindsight that that was very, that was a great - could be of great importance to somebody who is interested in bets being made on the game?
MR CRONJE: As I say, I have not been, when I say I haven't been involved, I haven't actually physically put a bet on, so I cannot rally tell you how it will affect or help or anything like that, unless you are of course a hundred percent sure that somebody is going to win or lose.
COMMISSIONER: Mr Cronjé, I am sorry, it is not being hundred percent sure that somebody is going to win or lose, it is being a hundred percent sure that there is going to be a result, when everything tells you, you being the person who might be persuaded to take a bet, that there isn't going to be a result because three days of the game have been rained off and there is no way on earth that there is going to be a result on the final day, surely?
MR CRONJE: Even when you declare, Mr Commissioner, there is always the possibility that it might be a draw, and there was that very possibility with seven balls to go, there was very much a possibility of a draw in that game.
COMMISSIONER: Yes, but you are creating the certainty that it will not be a draw, you are creating, that is precisely my point, you are creating the certainty that there will be a result.
MR CRONJE: Not at all, Mr Commissioner. If I declare, it doesn't mean that there is going to be a result. Whether we talk a normal game or a forfeit/forfeit situation.
If you play Free State vs Transvaal and I declare the morning of the last day, and leave them 300 to score on the last day, that doesn't mean that I am creating a certainty of a result, not at all.
COMMISSIONER: The result may be a draw, but is creating the end of the game, which this was effectively, there is no room, there is no room for a draw in fact, there must be a result like in any other One-day game. That is what this was, surely?
MR CRONJE: No, this was still a test match, it wasn't a One-day game, Mr Commissioner, I am sorry to say that to you.
COMMISSIONER: We can continue playing on words, but we will hear it from Mr Aronstam no doubt.
MS BATOHI: You said that Mr Aronstam told you that if you declared, I am just reading from your statement and make a game of it, you said he would give you R500 000 but you agreed that it may have been an incorrect amount, because Mr Aronstam would say it was, I think, R200 000. He agreed that he would give this amount to a charity of your choice, and he would also give you a gift.
Didn't it occur to you at that stage, knowing that Mr Aronstam had some betting interests, that perhaps his offer to pay something into a charity of your choice, was a way of couching a deal that is essentially improper into some false sense of legitimacy about it, didn't that occur to you?
MR CRONJE: The fact that I allowed Mr Aronstam to influence my decision the next day, it was improper, hundred percent correct. I wasn't expecting a, I wasn't a hundred percent sure what to expect the next day, I wasn't sure whether it was going to be, I had some idea that it might be money but I wasn't sure what the gift was going to be.
COMMISSIONER: Did you seriously believe Mr Cronjé that when Mr Aronstam said that he would give you, whether it was R500 000 or R200 000, or not give you, give it to your favourite charity, that he was not saying to you "I am going to give it to you"? Really I find it very difficult to imagine that that could have been seriously regarded as a gift to charity?
MR CRONJE: I think that was his opening line to me, in order to approach me, Mr Commissioner.
COMMISSIONER: Yes, but the money that he was talking about, it might have been his opening line, where did you think, if you were approachable and you agreed with his proposition, did you think the money was going to go to charity or was going to go to you, nevermind what he clothed it in?
MR CRONJE: Mr Commissioner, I don't know if I was stupid at the time, or whether it does seem stupid to you, but I believe that there are companies out there who will be willing to give a certain amount to charity, in order to entertain a cricket match, yes.
COMMISSIONER: A charity of your choice?
MR CRONJE: That is what he said, yes.
MS BATOHI: You see Mr Aronstam will say that he spoke about the charity, but didn't mention any gift, I am not sure if Mr Blumberg put that to you yesterday, but can you comment on that?
MR CRONJE: I was certain that there was a gift mentioned and I say that in my affidavit as well.
MS BATOHI: Mr Aronstam will testify that he, I have consulted with him, and what he says and I think it is fair of me to put it to you, is that he didn't mention a gift, because he wasn't quite sure how you were going to react to this approach and the way of approaching it by way of a charity was almost a legitimate way of trying to figure out what your attitude to this would be. Can you comment on that?
MR CRONJE: I am not sure what you are trying to ask me.
MS BATOHI: You see, what Mr Aronstam says is that he didn't mention a gift, because he didn't want it to seem like a bribe to you. All he did was mention the charity and then depending on whether you were agreeable or not, he would be able to assess your attitude towards doing business so to speak, can you comment on that?
MR CRONJE: As I say I wasn't expecting a huge gift, I wasn't expecting a gift from any amount, the gift itself has come up after this conversation took place. If we talk back now in history, or go back to the meeting, the gift that he spoke about, could have been a drink downstairs at the Villa Mora, I wasn't expecting to receive any money from Mr Aronstam.
MS BATOHI: Whilst we are on that point, so when he gave you R50 000 you must have been absolutely shocked, I mean a drink would have been good enough for you, that must have shocked you?
MR CRONJE: I was happy with the fact that he gave me $30 000 first and if it had been $5 000, I would also have been happy, yes. I was, I thought this was a very generous man, yes.
MS BATOHI: My question to you is that the gift was unspecified, as far as you were concerned, it could have been a drink downstairs, which is a far cry from R50 000. So if you were expecting something so small, that R50 000 must have come as quite a surprise to you?
MR CRONJE: Yes, I was as I said before, I am not trying to boast or to try and be big headed or anything, but I do have a lot, I don't want to put it in a bad way, but I do have a lot of money, I do deal with people with a lot of money and R50 000 is a big gift and the first R30 000 was a big gift, and I was surprised that he gave me so much, yes, but in my mind, it is not uncommon for the practice that I am in.
MS BATOHI: Just dealing with this R50 000, you were cross-examined yesterday by my learned friend, Mr Blumberg, and he asked you about what you thought this R50 000 was for, I am looking at my notes which I must confess are a little bit cryptic, and I am trying to find the right place in the transcript which we found this morning, but can you confirm what you said yesterday was you -
"... don't know if he was trying to pay me for the shirt or for the friendship, I understood it was for the Centurion test match",
is that correct?
MR CRONJE: Yes, I thought it was the gift that he referred to.
MS BATOHI: You thought it was a gift, the gift that he had referred to, but did he tell you what that money was for?
MR CRONJE: Afterwards I phoned him a couple of times and I asked him what the money was for, and he said to me that it was for future friendship and for future information that he might get from me.
MS BATOHI: Yes, because that is exactly what is contained in paragraph 32 of your statement, so basically you were under no illusion that Mr Aronstam expected to get paid back for this R50 000 by way of information provided by you, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: I am, I want to make it clear to you that I at no stage, at any stage, gave Mr Aronstam information, other than the odd prediction as to what I thought a good score would be, what I thought South Africa's chances was in the game, what, probably what the weather was like and what the pitches were like.
MS BATOHI: I understand that, but what I am putting to you is that Mr Aronstam made it quite clear that the R50 000 was for information in the future, you had no doubt about that, whatever it might be?
MR CRONJE: When I have spoken to Mr Aronstam afterwards, that is what he told me, yes.
MS BATOHI: From that point on you had no illusions about what the R50 000 was for?
MR CRONJE: As I said, I thought it was a gift for the Centurion test match.
MS BATOHI: I think we are going around in circles here, Mr Cronjé. What I am saying to you is that from the point when Mr Aronstam said to you as you state in your statement as well, that this money is for information in the future, you knew from that point on that you have to deliver on that, it was for information?
MR CRONJE: Not really. I struck up a friendship with Mr Aronstam and even if he didn't ask, I would still supply him with this information, because I saw him as a friend, more than somebody that was betting on the game. I built up a relationship with him since then, and we have spoken on a friendly basis.
MS BATOHI: I am not going to persist with this line, it is just that, I mean if a man tells you that R50 000 I have given you is for information, surely you must realise that you've got to deliver and give him some sort of information in the future?
MR CRONJE: I didn't understand from Mr Aronstam that he was going to place me under any pressure to deliver anything.
MS BATOHI: Is that simply because of this good friendship that you had with him?
MR CRONJE: As I say I started my friendship or my connection with Mr Aronstam on the fourth evening of the Centurion test match and I have taken a particular liking in him since then.
MS BATOHI: Please just bear with me, Mr Commissioner, I am just trying to find some notes on a consultation, before I move on from this point.
Mr Cronjé, I am just going to take you back to your meeting with Mr Aronstam, you were asked by Mr Blumberg yesterday whether at any stage there was any talk of throwing of matches and I haven't found it in the transcript, but correct me if I am wrong, your answer was, I didn't quite understand it, but you were saying something like he wanted us, talking about Aronstam, to get a negative in a match in Durban. Can you just go over that again and tell me what was discussed that night about throwing of matches?
MR CRONJE: I was saying to Mr Aronstam that the only way that I think that there could be money made on a cricket match was if you in fact had players on your side, and you could influence the result of a game that way, by negative performances from players.
MS BATOHI: Was that just general talk?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: You see, Mr Aronstam, I have consulted with him as I have said before, will say that - before I put that to you, during cross-examination yesterday by my colleague, Mr Blumberg, if you will bear with me, I don't want to put the wrong thing to you, if it is not what you said, just to be fair to you, let me try to find this in the transcript.
Mr Aronstam will say, this is what he said to me during consultation was that when he met you that night, you, your approach, in fact your, he was quite surprised about your openness about the way that you approached the subject of making money and you said to him "how can I make money", do you remember that?
MR CRONJE: He was talking about his spreadbetting in the past and that he was into gambling on matches and I was saying to him that the only way that I think that you can make money on a game, would be if you have players on your side.
MS BATOHI: That is not quite the impression that I got, talking to Mr Aronstam, because he said the impression he got was that you were keen to do business and when he asked you, when you asked him "how can I make money" his reply was "the ball is in your court", basically it is up to you. Do you recall that, could that have happened?
MR CRONJE: Yes, that could have happened.
MS BATOHI: He also says that during this conversation you said to him, he will testify to this effect that you, it was a suggestion from you, or basically you were prepared, you told him that you were prepared to throw one game during the England/South Africa/Zimbabwe triangular series that was coming up just after the Centurion match and in fact, just before you comment on that, he said further that you told him that you would be prepared to throw the match between South Africa and England? Can you comment on that?
MR CRONJE: We played three matches against England and I am not sure which one Mr Aronstam is referring to, and if the conversation went in that direction, I think the impression that I gave to Mr Aronstam would have been one of "once South Africa has qualified for a final, then I would be prepared to talk to him about anything".
MS BATOHI: His evidence will be that you were referring to the first match between South Africa and England?
MR CRONJE: That will be incorrect.
MS BATOHI: And he will further testify that in view of the fact that South Africa lost their first match against Zimbabwe, you then told him that that was off, South Africa had to win against England. Can you comment on that?
MR CRONJE: That is incorrect, because our first loss came to England in Bloemfontein, where in fact I sent an SMS before the match to Mr Aronstam and I said to him that I thought a good score would be 270, batting first and we were batting first.
MS BATOHI: Sorry, did you say that your first loss was to England?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: You may well be right, I will check on that and get back if necessary on that point.
There is just a couple of other things that I want to put to you for your comment with regard to your conversation with Mr Aronstam that night. Will you bear with me please, Mr Commissioner.
Right, you are correct, Zimbabwe won that first match, I may have misunderstood something in that regard.
MR CRONJE: Sorry, England ...
MS BATOHI: I beg your pardon, yes, that is correct. Mr Aronstam will also testify that the first one day international that South Africa was going to play against Cochin in India was also discussed, against India in Cochin was also discussed and that you told him at that discussion that you were prepared to throw that game against India in Cochin, can you comment on that?
MR CRONJE: That is correct, at that time I told him that I was prepared, yes. Mr Aronstam will further tell you that when he contacted me after the second test in India, I told him that that is off.
MS BATOHI: That is correct, he will. He will also say that in addition to mentioning that you were prepared to throw Cochin, at some stage, he is not quite sure whether it was on that first night or immediately after that, but at some stage, you also told him that you had players, Bojé, Strydom and Gibbs involved because, well as you put it, they were already in your pocket, can you comment on that?
MR CRONJE: That is incorrect.
COMMISSIONER: Is it all incorrect, or just part of it? That whole statement that has just been put to you, is it incorrect, is it?
MR CRONJE: As far as I am concerned Mr Commissioner, I never told Mr Aronstam that I had any players with me.
COMMISSIONER: Yes, well, that is why I am asking, so the comment that you said that you had three players in your pocket, that is not correct?
MR CRONJE: I didn't say that to Mr Aronstam, I told that to Mr Sanjay.
COMMISSIONER: We are dealing with Mr Aronstam, but did you mention the names of any of the members of the team on this occasion to Mr Aronstam?
MR CRONJE: As far as I am concerned, no.
MS BATOHI: Mr Aronstam will testify that he had a very good relationship with you over this period and spoke for quite long on the phone, discussing tactics, team selection, etc, you agree with that?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: Mr Aronstam will further testify that he spoke to you on several occasions but after the Cochin game, he tried to contact you on several occasions before that, he had spoken to you on one occasion and you were very cool towards him and then he tried to contact you on several occasions, leaving messages and you did not respond, can you comment on that?
MR CRONJE: The last time that I spoke to Mr Aronstam was on a bus trip travelling towards the Mumbai hotel, after the second test match, and I never spoke to Mr Aronstam during the One-day series in India. I think part of the reason of that might be the fact that most of the time, our cellphones didn't have reception during the one day series and I don't think that I ever spoke to him until our return to South Africa.
MS BATOHI: Yes, but that may well be the case, however Mr Aronstam seems to think now that the reason why you had actually cooled off was because you had Sanjay now whose money obviously, who was offering a lot more money than he could possibly give you.
MR CRONJE: I don't think that is the case, I cannot speak for Mr Aronstam, but that certainly wasn't the case from my side.
MS BATOHI: Just one thing before I move on, during the discussions between you and Mr Aronstam, is it correct that he used the codename Anthony in his dealings with you?
MR CRONJE: He phoned me during the first test match in Mumbai and said whenever he speaks to me, he is not going to mention his own name on the telephone.
MS BATOHI: Do you know why that was the case, why was that necessary?
MR CRONJE: I don't think that he was comfortable speaking on the telephone in the hotel.
MS BATOHI: At a later stage, during subsequent telephonic discussions between you and Mr Aronstam, did you in fact change codenames, both of you?
MR CRONJE: I have always called Mr Aronstam Boet or Boetie.
MS BATOHI: Well, that is what he would say that after the storm, after the 7th of April, when he contacted you, if you will bear with me, after the 7th of April, that it was then that you had said that if you contact each other, that you must use those names, so that basically people won't realise that the two of you were in contact with each other, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: I was nervous about who I talked to afterwards and yes, I said to him that I would call him Boet.
MS BATOHI: Mr Cronjé, I just want to clarify this, as far as that Centurion match is concerned, was it on your part a genuine attempt to entertain the public and to save that match or did you declare also knowing that it is what Mr Aronstam had suggested and wanted and that at the end of the day, you were going to get something for that?
MR CRONJE: I genuinely believed that it was the right move for cricket, but as I have said to you before, the fact that I had even spoken to Mr Aronstam and even entertained the thought in my mind, was wrong.
MS BATOHI: You see because your decision on that day, surprised a lot of people, including your teammates and it seemed totally out of character, can you comment on that?
MR CRONJE: I think that at the time Mr Aronstam had convinced me that my public image was very low, and that I needed to do something about it. I think that some of my teammates were also surprised about the decision in New Zealand in 1995 during the centenary test match.
MS BATOHI: I just want to put to you what Allan Donald writes in his autobiography, "White Lightning" and I want your comment on it, dealing with this particular issue. He says -
"I know that some of the players were very, very surprised. I know Nasser didn't want to chase 270 (that was your original offer I believe), that was too steep, but to leave them 240 in 72 overs, for me was just ridiculous. I thought at the time that 2-0 was better than 201. I cannot think of any other captain who would have done that. It just seemed very odd."
Can you comment on that?
MR CRONJE: Yes, Mr Donald reserves the right to write whatever he wants and anybody who chases more than 90 runs in a session in test cricket, has done really well. You will see that in test cricket not a lot of people score more than 90 runs a session, and if you leave somebody too steep a target, they won't go for it anyway, and in other words you won't have an opportunity to take wickets.
In order to take wickets in cricket you've got to leave somebody the opportunity to in fact get there, and by them playing a little bit more positively, a little bit more freely, you will have the opportunity of bowling them out. Our bonus system with the United Cricket Board is also based on the fact that you get paid for wins, and part of my decision to declare had to do with the fact that if in fact we can get a win, we have the opportunity to win, we can get an extra incentive bonus from the United Cricket Board.
The Wisdon Cricket Ratings also work in a way that if in fact you win a match, your points are more and the Australians had won six matches out of six, and I was pretty keen on chasing that.
MS BATOHI: You also put the number of test match wins if I correctly recall, at risk, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: You always put that at risk when you go on the field and play and when you made a declaration, you live by the sword as a captain. Whatever decision you make, you live by it.
MS BATOHI: Is it correct that if, no, I withdraw that ...
MR CRONJE: You see, Ms Batohi, I am not trying to come up for myself, but in Port Elizabeth, when I didn't declare, there was a lot of criticism and a lot of attack from public and from media, when I didn't declare.
And at the time when Mr Aronstam approached me, I was really down, I really wanted to have a bit of sympathy and his approach was a very good one to me, and it gave me a genuine opportunity to give something back to the public and to improve my image.
It also fell in very nicely with the meeting we had earlier that afternoon with the United Cricket Board's Managing Director, Dr Bacher, where he wanted to find out from Nasser Hussain and myself, whether in fact we could turn the game into a One-day international or not.
MS BATOHI: Mr Cullinan, if I have it correctly, after this match, announced his retirement from One-day internationals, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: You are hundred percent correct, Mr Cullinan had a press conference on the evening of the third day where he announced his retirement. So in other words the decision had not been made at the time.
MS BATOHI: Were you surprised by this announcement?
MR CRONJE: I wasn't surprised by the announcement, I was disappointed that Mr Cullinan didn't discuss it with me, but I could understand Mr Cullinan's disappointment, and I think I was part of it, and I think the national selectors were part of it, because it wasn't clearly communicated with Mr Cullinan as to what the reasons were for him not going to Kenya. I think his understanding was that he is a "has been" as far as the one day side is concerned, and the selectors wanted to look at the 2003 World Cup, and that's the impression that he got. It was partly to blame from my point of view and the selectors point of view. I don't believe the Centurion test match had anything to do with his decision, as his decision came before the Centurion decision was made anyway.
MS BATOHI: Did you at any stage suspect that Mr Cullinan might have known that you had taken R30 000 from Mr Aronstam at any stage during this game?
MR CRONJE: Mr Cullinan came to me with about 30 or 40 runs to go and he said to me "at least now I will have a beer with you, because I can see what your reason was behind declaring, I was very annoyed with you before that".
MS BATOHI: Once the Commission of Inquiry was announced, were you particularly worried about what Mr Cullinan was going to testify about at this Commission?
MR CRONJE: Mr Manthorpe was quoted as saying that Mr Cullinan had evidence of somebody handing me an envelope of money after the Centurion test match.
MS BATOHI: My question to you was were you concerned about what Mr Cullinan was going to say during these hearings?
MR CRONJE: I was concerned that Mr Cullinan thought that I got money for the Centurion test match, yes.
MS BATOHI: Well, you did receive R30 000 during that period from Mr Aronstam and R50 000?
MR CRONJE: I received R50 000.
MS BATOHI: Because Mr Aronstam will testify that during the conversations that he had with you, you often expressed concern to him about what, as you said, what Daryll was going to say. Is that you were concerned about?
MR CRONJE: Yes, Mr Aronstam also said to me that he had spoken to Mike Haysman and Mike Haysman had mentioned to him that there is whispers in the media that in fact the result at Centurion Park had nothing to do with cricket, but had more to do with the fact that Mr Aronstam had money on the game.
MS BATOHI: I am going to deal with the triangular series now.
COMMISSIONER: Before you do that, I have one or two questions I want to ask Mr Cronjé.
Mr Aronstam, this is on Centurion match, Mr Aronstam was keen to, for you to make contact with the English captain, Nasser Hussain, and you said no, according to your statement, because you didn't want him to be involved. Involved in what?
MR CRONJE: If you make a declaration you try to leave it as late as possible. If you use your declaration as a surprise element, then you can actually use it to your advantage. Also if you tell the opposition that you've got the idea of declaring the night before, then they've got time to prepare for it and sleep on it. If you tell them the following morning then there is a good chance that they may have had a late night or they may have thought about fielding for the next day, so I didn't want to discuss that with him at all.
COMMISSIONER: But Mr Cronjé, he had to be involved, you couldn't have done the deal without the concurrence of Nasser Hussain?
MR CRONJE: I didn't want to speak to him the night before, I wanted to leave it as late as possible, to leave it as a surprise element, and that is why I only spoke to him the following morning, when we were doing the warm-ups.
COMMISSIONER: Did you tell Mr Aronstam that that was the reason why you didn't want to make contact with Nasser Hussain?
MR CRONJE: I cannot remember what reason I told Mr Aronstam.
COMMISSIONER: You see the use of the word "involved" suggests to me that it was an involvement that amounted in some way to collusion, to getting together to structure something, am I not right in that?
MR CRONJE: I told you Mr Aronstam was quite keen to make a game of it, ja.
COMMISSIONER: Can I accept that you knew that Mr Aronstam's keenness to make a game of it involved his wanting to either make bets or take bets on the outcome?
MR CRONJE: Yes, I think that Mr Arenstam wanted to make a bet on the game, yes.
COMMISSIONER: I mean was that clear to you at the time?
MR CRONJE: Yes.
COMMISSIONER: I will leave it at that for the moment.
MS BATOHI: Thank you Mr Commissioner.
Mr Cronjé I am going to deal with your meeting with Mr Chawla.
MR CRONJE: I have to correct you there, Ms Batohi, that in all the dealings that I have had with Sanjay, I have never been introduced or told that his surname is Chawla. I only know the man that I spoke to as Sanjay. I have not any other reason to believe that this is Sanjay Chawla, other than from what I have read in the media and seen in the press.
MS BATOHI: All right, we will refer to him as Sanjay then. COMMISSIONER: Perhaps at this point we could clear it up now, we have a possible maximum of four people involved here, there is Sanjay Chawla or Sanjay Chowla and there is Sanjeev Chawla or Sanjeev Chowla. Now what is the man's name, is it Sanjay - is Sanjay and Sanjeev the same, are they the same person?
MS BATOHI: Perhaps Mr Banjo Cassim would be able to assist on that at some stage, I am not entirely sure, Mr Commissioner.
COMMISSIONER: The man that you are talking about and that you are talking about, Mr Cronjé, we will call him Sanjay, that is how you knew him, is that right?
MR BLUMBERG: Mr Commissioner, to assist in this regard, my instructions are the man's name is Sanjay and there is only one individual, Sanjay.
COMMISSIONER: Sanjay what?
MR BLUMBERG: I don't know his surname.
COMMISSIONER: Will the real Mr Sanjay please stand up? (General laughter)
MR BLUMBERG: My client is not present Your Worship, in spite of the urgings from my left to ask my client.
MS BATOHI: Just referring to your statement again, you say that you were due to play in the fourth One-day international against Zimbabwe in Durban on the 2nd of February and the team was staying at the Beverley Hills Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: You say that when you were, "Hamied was at the hotel when we arrived", is that correct?
MR CRONJE: I don't think the wording in the statement is one hundred percent, I think when I returned from one of the practices, either from a practice or from a golf day, Hamied was at the hotel.
MS BATOHI: Give us a little bit of background about how you came to meet Sanjay at the hotel, how did it happen?
MR CRONJE: Hamied came to my room at the Beverley Hills and asked me to go up to a friend of his from London that he wanted to meet, to introduce, that he wanted to introduce me to.
MS BATOHI: Did you go to the friend's room?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: Well, you described Mr - in paragraph 34 - Hamied as a regular hanger around the team and you were prepared to go with him to meet somebody else in that person's room?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: Why is that, why didn't you ask him to, tell "him to come to my room"?
MR CRONJE: Well, he introduced me to a lot of people before, and I had no objection to that, he introduced me to as he correctly said, a filmstar at the Wanderers and he has introduced me to a lot of his friends before.
MS BATOHI: I understand that, but what I just find a bit odd is that this person that you don't really regard as a friend, in your words you call him a regular hanger on, that you are prepared to leave your room and go to meet somebody else in another room, why were you prepared to do that?
MR CRONJE: I don't know, I think that Mr Hamied just wanted to introduce me to a friend, he was staying in the same hotel and he wanted me to go up to his room.
MS BATOHI: You then go to this friend's room, who turns out to be Sanjay. Tell us what happened there?
MR CRONJE: Sanjay said to me that he is a person that likes to put money on cricket, he has a particular interest in that, and that he wanted me to give him some information that will be helpful for the One-day series and he also asked me if there was a possibility of maybe losing one match where he could make a lot of money.
MS BATOHI: Yes, carry on. What happened after that?
MR CRONJE: He handed me some money.
MS BATOHI: You told him that you were not prepared to do it unless you were assured of a place in the final, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: Why did you tell him that, is that what you really intended to do?
MR CRONJE: I think the reason for telling him that was that I tried to give him a fair chance on a game in case we had actually qualified for a place in the final, and then played an understrength side in the triangular, but I don't think that I ever would have gone through with that, I think I was spinning, not I think, I know I was spinning him along as I never even had any players on my side, and never had spoken to any players before, but I gave him the impression that I have.
MS BATOHI: You see, this is what I don't understand, Mr Cronjé, you don't have any intention of doing what he expects of you, but you are prepared to take the money?
MR CRONJE: That is correct, I thought I could take the money, give him a promise of something in the future and then give him information in the meantime, just feeding him snippets of information in the meantime.
MS BATOHI: But it is apparent from your first discussion with him, that that would not be enough, he wanted you to lose matches, isn't that correct?
MR CRONJE: Yes, he wanted me to be able to influence other players, to try and help him with losing a match, yes.
MS BATOHI: Did he tell you this at the first meeting, that he would expect you to influence other players?
MR CRONJE: Yes.
MS BATOHI: You said that this money was handed to you in a cellphone box, containing US dollars in case you changed your mind, changed your mind about what?
MR CRONJE: In case he wanted me to lose a match.
MS BATOHI: So basically you know now that when you had taken that money, you couldn't change your mind, you had to go along with it?
MR CRONJE: I could always return it in case I didn't perform to my ability I suppose and if the opportunity never arrived I could have given the money back, yes.
MS BATOHI: Did that thought cross your mind at the time when you took the money?
MR CRONJE: I won't say that, no.
MS BATOHI: So effectively then when you took that money you realised that you were hooked at that stage already?
MR CRONJE: I didn't think at that stage I was hooked, no, it only became apparent later when I was trying to feed him snippets of information and it wasn't working, that he was becoming more and more insistent on trying to give him more and more information and to try and help him to predict the results more and more carefully.
MS BATOHI: Mr Cronjé, I don't understand that. Why didn't that occur to you at that very moment when you took those $15 000, you knew then that money was given to you so that you don't change your mind, you must have realised then when you took the money that there was no turning back now, didn't you?
MR CRONJE: No, I honestly thought that if Mr Sanjay wasn't happy with what I did I could give the money back later.
MS BATOHI: But you just a minute ago said that that thought didn't cross your mind at that time?
MR CRONJE: As I say to you that I thought that I could feed him snippets of information and obviously he wanted me to, more than just information, he wanted me to influence other players as well.
MS BATOHI: I am not going to belabour this point, Mr Cronjé, but what I am putting to you is that when you took that money, at that point, the thought never occurred to you that you would give the money back? You must surely have realised, the money was given to you just to make sure that you don't change your mind, that you knew, that is in your statement.
You must therefore have realised that when you accepted that money, you were effectively hooked, because the thought of returning it, never crossed your mind.
MR CRONJE: It became apparent to me later on that he was insistent on getting results from me, yes.
MS BATOHI: Why didn't you think at the time that that is what you were expected to do?
MR CRONJE: I thought that there was no sure way of, or he actually told me that there is no sure way when I just feed him with information, he needs to get a match where we have a certainty of losing.
MS BATOHI: Sorry, I don't understand that.
MR CRONJE: I am trying my best. Sanjay wanted me to give him snippets of, or give him information that would be helpful, but he actually didn't want information that will just help him with predicting weather conditions and that, I think he wanted more than that, I think he wanted to be sure of what the result of the game was going to be. I gave him the impression that I was able to do that, at the meeting.
MS BATOHI: Well, it is not just a matter of what you thought, Mr Cronjé, because just a moment ago you said that what you knew at that stage was that he expected you to throw matches and to speak to other players to do that, isn't that correct?
MR CRONJE: Yes, he wanted me to speak to other players and I gave him the impression that I would, yes.
MS BATOHI: What did you do, well, at that stage when he gave you the money, your testimony has been that you had no idea how much was in there, I just find that a bit strange, maybe you can explain that to us.
Was nothing at all said between the two of you at that stage, regarding how much was in that box?
MR CRONJE: I think the money, not "I think", I know the money that he gave me was a sort of deposit for maybe speaking to players and helping to influence players and that there would be a further sum if in fact I was able to predict the result, not predict, to give him a result in the right way.
MS BATOHI: Did you think that or did he say that to you?
MR CRONJE: He said that to me.
MS BATOHI: I see. So this was just a deposit and if you delivered, then there was going to be more?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: How much did you think was in that box, at that stage?
MR CRONJE: I had no clear idea.
MS BATOHI: Did you ask him?
MR CRONJE: No, I think it was between $15 000 and $20 000, $10 000, $15 000, $20 000, somewhere there.
MS BATOHI: On your own version, it could have been
$30 000, you had no idea at all?
MR CRONJE: It could have been more.
MS BATOHI: What about $47 000?
MR CRONJE: It could have been, it could have been 60 000, it could have been $80 000.
MS BATOHI: Mr Cronjé, wasn't it important at that stage that the two of you knew between yourselves how much money was in that box, what if Mr - Sanjay at a later stage came up to you and said "well, there was $200 000 in that box" and you open it and find there is only $10 000, how are you going to prove to him that it was only $10 000?
MR CRONJE: I would have given him the money back, whatever I had in my possession.
MS BATOHI: What did you do with this money after he gave it to you, the box?
MR CRONJE: I had at that stage a briefcase with me for studying with the University of South Africa, first of all I put the money in a safe and then I put it in my briefcase and travelled around with it, until I got home, and then dumped the money in a filing cabinet at home.
MS BATOHI: I take it you left it in the cellphone box?
MR CRONJE: No, I had it in a Adidas bag at that stage.
MS BATOHI: So, it didn't really matter to you, you just mixed it up with a whole lot of other money apparently that you had at home, is that what you did?
MR CRONJE: By the time I got home, I put it in a filing cabinet, where I kept some of my previous money from the tours as well, yes.
MS BATOHI: Would you have been able to establish how much it was that Sanjay gave to you?
MR CRONJE: The only time I was able to establish that was when it was counted.
MS BATOHI: Who counted it?
MR CRONJE: On the 11th of April in the morning early, I phoned my wife, because at that stage, she had no idea that I was involved, I had lied to her from the 7th of April until the morning of the 11th of April, about my involvement in this. I phoned her and I said to her that obviously this is going to come as a shock to her, it was the early hours of the morning, that there is some money in the top of the cupboard, you've got to understand that we've moved houses, at that stage we moved from Bloemfontein to George, she did the move for me, she knew that she moved some dollars for me, but she was under the impression that those were dollars for the benefit matches that I received, and also from previous tours, left over sustenance allowances and money from my Kenya winnings.
When I wasn't at home, I called her and I asked her to count the money. She counted a certain amount of money and then I phoned her again and said to her that "hang on, that is not all the money, that was just part of it", because on the 7th of April when the news broke, I got a huge fright and I hid money in different places in the house, so when she counted the money, she only counted part of it.
She then took the money from George up to my Attorney in Bloemfontein, Mr Sackstein, who counted a certain section of the money and then later told me that the entire amount was $47 000. I told him that in that money there was, part of it was for the benefit matches that were coming up, part of it was from my sustenance allowances and part of it was from Sanjay.
MS BATOHI: How much of that was for the benefit matches that you have spoken about?
MR CRONJE: $25 000.
MS BATOHI: Was that in cash as well?
MR CRONJE: Yes, Ma'am.
COMMISSIONER: Just explain that to me Mr Cronjé, were these other players' benefit matches, the $25 000?
MR CRONJE: Mr Commissioner, I was involved in organising a five match series between an Indian XI and a South African XI to be played at the end of April, the beginning of May and the promoter of the match came down to Bloemfontein and handed me the dollars.
COMMISSIONER: Intended as prize money in some shape or form, or was it intended for you yourself?
MR CRONJE: Part of it was intended for myself as a payment for my services and part of it was for a deposit that I promised the players that, you see sometimes when you travel on these benefit matches, you arrive on the other side, and you don't get paid, and I said to them that I would give them a deposit each before we go over on this tour, and the tour never took place.
COMMISSIONER: So shouldn't the money have been returned to the person who had given it to you?
MR CRONJE: Once the news broke, I was in Durban and all the money was taken into the Reserve Bank, and at this stage we are waiting for this Commission to finish before we sort out all the finances, yes.
MS BATOHI: What part of that $25 000 was for you and what part for the players?
MR CRONJE: The fee for all the matches came to a certain amount, I think it was R250 000 per match and that each player was going to get $6 500, I think, $6 500 or $7 000 and some players were going to get more.
MS BATOHI: And you?
MR CRONJE: I was getting a fee for that and also my match appearance money.
MS BATOHI: What was your fee?
MR CRONJE: The difference between whatever the match fees were and what the players were getting paid.
MS BATOHI: How many players were going to go over to India?
MR CRONJE: 12 Players plus a manager.
MS BATOHI: Is that all members of the current South African national side?
MR CRONJE: Most of them are, there are some young players as well.
MS BATOHI: Is it correct that this team was going to play, correct me if I am wrong, but the teams, was Mr Azhuraddin in India, getting together a side as well?
MR CRONJE: Mr Azhuraddin I believe, was the opposite captain of this tournament, yes.
MS BATOHI: Explain to me, how was this tournament going to operate?
MR CRONJE: It was organised by PCM and it was a tournament that was going to be screened on Sony Max and it was five matches of 40 overs, 11 players a side.
MS BATOHI: What was the object of holding this tournament?
MR CRONJE: I think they wanted to try and have a new form of cricket in India, introduce a different kind of cricket. 40 Overs with 5 ball overs are more action, two overs from a side, before change over, you are going to have two overs from a side.
MS BATOHI: You have often said this during your testimony, Mr Cronjé, that you accept that you were driven by, well, I am looking at paragraph 41, greed and stupidity. Your whole intention of getting involved with Sanjay, not the whole intention, but you were in it for the money as well, isn't that correct?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: So, why do you, you see what I cannot seem to fathom is that you - in your statement there appears to be a suggestion that these people were pests, you couldn't shake them off, the fact of the matter is that you were also in it for the money yourself?
MR CRONJE: I was trying to flip them along in just feeding them snippets of information, and then taking their money off them, if that is what you mean, yes.
MS BATOHI: In paragraph 43 you deal with this cellphone or simcard initially and then cellphone that was given to you by Sanjay. Did he personally give you the cellphone?
MR CRONJE: He gave me the handset later, yes, but the simcard was sent up to my room.
MS BATOHI: Do you know who brought that simcard up to you?
MR CRONJE: No.
MS BATOHI: What is the phone number of that cellphone, Mr Cronjé?
MR CRONJE: I have no idea.
MS BATOHI: Didn't you use it, didn't you give that number to other people?
MR CRONJE: The only person that would have that number would be Hamied and probably Sunil and probably one or two of the Adidas guys in India, because it was cheaper for me to receive calls on that cellphone if it was done in India, rather than on my MTN cellphone, because that would be international charges, so it made contact in India a lot easier.
MS BATOHI: You said Sunil would have that number, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: That is correct yes. Sunil phoned me on a couple of occasions to try and speak to me about a casual visit, a social visit, yes.
MS BATOHI: Did he phone you on that phone?
MR CRONJE: He did whilst I was in Mumbai, yes.
MS BATOHI: How did he get that number?
MR CRONJE: I gave it to him.
MS BATOHI: Well, how did it come about that you gave him that number?
MR CRONJE: The number, when it was sent up, the simcard, when it was sent up to me, had the number on an envelope.
MS BATOHI: Why did you give it to Sunil?
MR CRONJE: Why not? I mean it makes it easier to contact me when I am in India.
MS BATOHI: Just let me get clarity on this, I am not sure if I am confused about something, who is it that gave you that simcard?
MR CRONJE: The simcard was sent up to my room and I presume it was Sanjay that gave it to me.
MS BATOHI: So how did it come about that you gave this number then to Sunil, can you just explain that to me?
MR CRONJE: Yes, Sunil phoned me and asked me where he could contact me and I said I've got a new cellphone and he could phone me on that.
MS BATOHI: So you were still in contact with Sunil at that stage?
MR CRONJE: As I said to you Sunil is a person that I befriended on my tours to the sub-continent.
MS BATOHI: And you first met him in 1996?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MS BATOHI: Did you continue this association with him from 1996 through to earlier this year?
MR CRONJE: That is hundred percent correct, I never spoke to him other than on my tours to India.
MS BATOHI: What were these conversations about?
MR CRONJE: It was about what blokes normally would talk about, it was cricket, it was politics, it was television and it was whatever blokes talk about normally.
MS BATOHI: So he had become a friend of yours, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: Yes, he took me out for dinner once in 1996 and once in 2000, yes.
MS BATOHI: And the first time that you met him he asked you whether you were interested in fixing matches, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: After a few drinks he said to me if ever I have the willingness to help him with giving him information, he would be willing to give it to me, yes. He would be willing to help, if I was willing to help him, he would be willing to assist.
MS BATOHI: And during that five year period, four year period that you knew him, apart from that one approach, didn't he make any other attempts to do business with you so to speak?
MR CRONJE: No, not at all, I think he got the impression that I wasn't really going to be helpful and also the only other time that he spoke to me was in Dubai about information that I think would have been handy for him if he wanted to make a bet on a game.
Once again I want to try and put it to you as best I can, Ms Batohi, that Sunil never actually gave me any money or offered me any money or asked me to influence any other players.
COMMISSIONER: Did you during this period, now after your first meeting or second meeting with him, when you were speaking to each other on the phone, did you give him any sort of information that might have been useful to him, forgetting about the question of whether you were paid to do it or not? Did you give him information, forecasting that might have been useful to him?
MR CRONJE: No.
MS BATOHI: In your statement paragraph 44 says that you know, you thought that you could satisfy Sanjay by just forecasting outcomes accurately and he wasn't satisfied with that, and pressured you to speak to some of the other players. Did you at any stage tell him "look, I am sorry, I can't get the other players involved, this is the best I can do"?
MR CRONJE: I told him in the Mumbai game once that none of the players were involved, and then after insisting and pushing me I told him that I had three or four players on my side, yes, lying to him.
MS BATOHI: Is that what appears in the transcripts that have been released, is that the conversation that you are talking about?
MR CRONJE: Ma'am, this is very difficult for me to tell you anything that is in the transcripts, because I have only seen snippets of them and whether those tapes are in fact true, or transcripts of tapes, I can tell you that I had conversations with Sanjay, I had conversations with Hamied, I had conversations with Sunil, but what appears on the transcripts, I am not hundred percent sure as I wouldn't know what hundred percent the conversations were.
MS BATOHI: What is in the transcripts, why can't you tell whether it is true or not?
MR CRONJE: What transcripts are those?
MS BATOHI: The ones that have been released, Mr Cronjé, we know what we are talking about, the ones that have been released, why cannot you tell whether ... (intervention)
MR WALLACE: With respect Mr Commissioner, the witness asked which transcripts are you talking about. If my learned friend would care to identify them, then perhaps we will know what she is talking about. There have been all sorts of variations on the theme of transcripts, I don't know what she is talking about and with respect, I think it is a perfectly proper question for the witness to say "please tell me what you are talking about", let's look at the document and we will know what is going on.
COMMISSIONER: Specify the transcript please Ms Batohi.
MS BATOHI: As it pleases you Mr Commissioner.
You see we will get to that in a minute Mr Cronjé. What I find a bit odd about this reply of yours is that when you spoke to Mr Rory Steyn at the very outset, do you remember that night?
MR CRONJE: It was a morning, yes.
MS BATOHI: Early hours of the morning. There was, I am not sure, but it may well have been one transcript or two released by then, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: I was shoved a piece of paper in front of my nose by Mr Clifford Green and Mrs Bronwyn Wilkinson-Luck, yes.
MS BATOHI: You told Mr Steyn and he testified to this, that what was in the transcripts, were true, do you remember that?
MR CRONJE: As far as my recollection is, that is not what I told Mr Steyn. I told Mr Steyn, that is my voice that was on the tapes.
MS BATOHI: I am just going to read from the testimony of Mr Steyn which appears on page 197 of the record. He states -
"On handing me that statement (that is the letter that you originally wrote) he (meaning you) said something to the effect of 'you must have guessed, but I haven't been totally honest and some of what is being reported in the media, is true and I have made a statement, I would like to come clean",
what were you referring to at that stage?
MR CRONJE: There were reports in the media that I had influenced the result of the five One-day games in India and I said to Mr Steyn that I am the person that they are talking about, but what is not there is that I was lying to Sanjay all along. I did not say that what is said on the transcript is absolutely correct, I never said that.
MS BATOHI: Maybe we can look at that later and see what you dispute in those transcripts and what you agree to.
Please bear with me, Mr Commissioner. Is it correct Mr Cronjé that that cellphone that you received, you handed to Mr Clifford Green, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: That is incorrect.
MS BATOHI: Right, what did you do with that cellphone?
MR CRONJE: I disposed of it.
MS BATOHI: How did you do that?
MR CRONJE: I chucked it in a dustbin.
MS BATOHI: Did you hand any other cellphone to Mr Green at any stage?
MR CRONJE: Yes.
MS BATOHI: And what phone was that?
MR CRONJE: It was a cellphone that was given to me in Dubai or Sharjah for that matter.
MS BATOHI: Why did you throw the phone away?
MR CRONJE: I got an absolute huge fright when I saw that my name had appeared in the newspaper for allegations of match-fixing in India.
MS BATOHI: So, you actually received two phones then, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: I received one mobile phone in India and I received one mobile phone in Dubai yes, and I also received a third one from Mr Goolam Rajah from the UCB.
MS BATOHI: I am not quite so interested in the third one, but the second one, who did you get that one from in Dubai?
MR CRONJE: I am not hundred percent sure, it came with a note for me from a person by the name of Sudeep.
MS BATOHI: With a note?
MR CRONJE: Sudeep.
MS BATOHI: And you were happy to accept this phone and use it?
MR CRONJE: The reason why I accepted this phone was I asked Mr Rajah to organise me a handset as I was using one of the UCB handsets, when this phone was delivered to my room, I initially thought that this phone was from Mr Rajah. I asked him whether this telephone had indeed come from him and he said no, and then it became clear to me that this phone was obviously somebody from Sanjay that wanted me to keep in conversation with them or keep the communication with them.
MS BATOHI: And then what did you do with that phone, did you keep it?
MR CRONJE: I kept it for the period during the Dubai tournament or the Sharjah tournament and I made quite a lot of phone calls from it, to and from South Africa, to South Africa. I never received any calls on it, it rang once or twice, but I never accepted those calls. I also phoned, used it to give it to the team to phone whoever they wanted to.
COMMISSIONER: I am sorry, I am not clear Mr Cronjé, why did you throw that cellphone away? Why did you throw it away?
MR CRONJE: I got a fright when I read newspaper reports that I was involved in match-fixing in India and I knew that the cellphone that I was using at the time, was the cellphone that I used between myself and Sanjay.
COMMISSIONER: You mean that in some way the calls could have been checked up and monitored or details could, I am not very conversant with how these things work, but I do understand that one can get a printout of calls that are made on a cellphone, in either direction, was that what concerned you, were you trying to - I am not saying this in any derogatory sense - were you trying to hide the evidence?
MR CRONJE: I was trying to get rid of all evidence that I had any dealings with Sanjay, yes.
MS BATOHI: That second phone, the one that you received in Dubai, do you perhaps know what the phone number of that one was?
MR CRONJE: I have no idea.
MS BATOHI: It appears that the simcard on that phone has been purposefully cleared, do you know anything about that?
MR CRONJE: Not at all, no. I handed the phone to Mr Green when I saw him in Durban. When you say cleared, what do you mean?
MS BATOHI: It cannot be read? There is nothing on it?
MR CRONJE: Well, I think it is because I never received any calls on it.
MS BATOHI: But you made a lot of calls?
MR CRONJE: Yes, I made a lot of calls and so did my team-mates, yes.
MS BATOHI: At the very least, one should be able to pick those calls up?
MR CRONJE: I would presume so, yes.
MS BATOHI: Mr Commissioner, I do intend to go on to another matter, it is just a short while before the lunch adjournment, maybe we could adjourn at this stage.
MR MANCA: Mr Commissioner, just before you adjourn, just perhaps to assist you in one regard, you did have a query about the identity of Sanjay, Sanjeev. I have a copy of an affidavit that was signed by Mr Cassim on the 6th of June and just for your information, he refers to Sanjay and I will spell that for you, Sanjay and then a surname spelt C-h-a-w-l-a.
COMMISSIONER: Thank you Mr Manca, is it?
MR MANCA: That is correct.
MR WALLACE: Mr Commissioner, before we take the adjournment, I do wonder, we are going to lose time this afternoon because this room is unavailable and particularly in the light of Dr Lewis' evidence and so on, if there is a prospect of us being able to complete matters if we were to perhaps take a shortened adjournment, bearing in mind we are starting ten minutes early, it would probably be most desirable from a medical point of view and everybody's point of view. Perhaps watches in Durban are different from those in Cape Town.
COMMISSIONER Let's start at half past, arrange to reassemble if that is convenient, at quarter to two. Would that suit everybody?
MR WALLACE: Yes, certainly.
MS BATOHI: I have no problem with that.
COMMISSION ADJOURNS AT 12H57
ON RESUMPTION AT 13H54
WESSELS JOHANNES CRONJE: (s.u.o)
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS BATOHI: (cont)
Thank you, Mr Commissioner. Mr Cronjé, I'm going to deal with the One-day internationals in India.
Before I get onto that, the two tests, Mr Strydom, Pieter Strydom testified that he had been approached before the first test in India, and you have that in your statements as well. Please can you just explain to the Commission how you went about approaching Mr Strydom? What happened?
MR CRONJE: I said to Mr Strydom that there's a gentleman that wants us to play badly in the first innings of the test match.
MS BATOHI: And is that all you said to him? How did the conversation go?
MR CRONJE: Well, it started off by I was basically showing him some of the songs that I had recorded onto my laptop, and then it took about 5 or 6 minutes before I said to him that, 'listen I've this guy who wants us to play badly.' I approached him in a sort of joking manner, 'who wants us to play badly in the first innings of the test match.' And Mr Strydom said - it took him a while, but then eventually he said, no he's not interested, he's trying to establish himself in the side, and he's not interested.
MS BATOHI: Why did you choose to approach Mr Strydom?
MR CRONJE: Ag, I don't particularly know. I mean, I just approached him because he was one of the guys in the team. I mean, it could have been anyone. I just picked Mr Strydom for that minute.
MS BATOHI: Did you perhaps feel that he might be more easily influenced by you?
MR CRONJE: I wouldn't say that. It could have been anyone really. He was just the unlucky one and he's been named, and as you will see later, I mean I - unfortunately he was the one that I named.
MS BATOHI: Did you approach him in a joking manner because you really didn't know how he was going to react to this suggestion?
MR CRONJE: That's correct.
MS BATOHI: And did you also tell him that the team needed to score less than 250 runs and that he could received R70 000, as he has it in his statement for that.
MR CRONJE: Sanjay wasn't really particular as to exactly what he wanted us to do. He just wanted us to play badly in that first innings. I said I will try and sass out some of the players. I wasn't particularly keen to get involved in loosing a test match or losing a - helping him with any information in the test matches. I really committed myself to saying that I will try and help him in one of the One-day matches. I didn't want to really get involved in test matches. So I wasn't really trying to push Mr Strydom or anything in that manner.
To answer your question, I don't think I went into any detail with Sanjay as to exactly what he wanted us to do. I just felt out Pieter Strydom and it came back that he didn't want to, and I left it at that. I wasn't really particularly interested.
MS BATOHI: Well, I'll just put my question to you again. My question is that Mr Strydom testified that he had asked you - or he informed you that the South African team was to score no more than 250 runs and that he would receive 70 000 for that. Do you confirm that that was the offer that you made to him?
MR CRONJE: If that's what Mr Strydom says, then I will go with that, ja.
MS BATOHI: And his testimony was that on the following day you - well, some time later you walked past him and in passing to him said, 'How about 140?', and he said, 'no way', and you both laughed. Do you confirm that?
MR CRONJE: Yeah, that's 100% correct. I tried to pass the whole incident as a joke and just made a joke with him about it, ja.
COMMISSIONER: Do you accept or agree that that's what you said to him about the 140?
MR CRONJE: Correct.
MS BATOHI: And is that because you were still trying to entice him to go along with this plan?
MR CRONJE: No, it's because I wanted him to think that I was just joking with him.
MS BATOHI: Well, he certainly didn't think you were joking on the following day. That was in his testimony.
MR CRONJE: If you were to ask this question of Mr Strydom the day after I spoke to him he would have told you that it was a joke. The reason why he's now thinking it's serious is because of all the revelations that happened. I'm sure about that.
MS BATOHI: You state in paragraph 46 that after speaking to Strydom - well, at the time of speaking to him you were already, to use your words, 'racked with guilt, and his remarks about doing his best for South Africa shamed you and in no way indicated that he was interested in receiving money'. My question is that if you were really guilty about this and ashamed of you, then why do you the next day nudge him and say, 'How about 140'?
MR CRONJE: Once again I say to you that I was trying to pass the whole incident as a joke. I didn't want Mr Strydom to think badly of me.
MS BATOHI: And then at paragraph 47 you talk about your approach to Kallis, Boucher and Klusener. Now we've heard from them about how this happened. Can you just tell this Commission how that happened?
MR CRONJE: Sanjay wanted to know if I could speak to some of the other players in the team. At that stage I told Sanjay that I had already spoken to Gibbs, Strydom, Boje, Williams - no, Williams wasn't on the tour yet, Gibbs, Strydom, Boje. I told him that I had spoken to Boucher. He said that he wanted more players in the team to play along, and I said that I will see if I can speak to Klusener, Kallis and Boucher. He actually wanted me to speak to those players. So I walked into their room, I said that there's a bloke who's willing to pay money for playing badly in the test match. They said they're not interested, and that's where we left it.
MS BATOHI: Now Strydom, Boucher, Klusener and Kallis, if they hadn't testified about what had happened concerning these approaches, would you have mentioned that to this Commission?
MR CRONJE: It's a difficult one to answer, Ms Batohi, because it was semi-joke, semi-serious. If you want to, I was testing them out, if that's what you're trying to say, ja.
MS BATOHI: No. My question to you is if they hadn't admitted to this Commission or testified that these approaches had been made, would you have told the Commission about that?
MR CRONJE: I probably wouldn't have mentioned it because since 1994 it's something that the guys have joked about, spoke about. Especially after the meeting in '96, the guys did joke and do talk about it, and laugh about these matters.
COMMISSIONER: Are there any other similar matters that have been joked and laughed about that you haven't told me?
MR CRONJE: Not that falls within the terms of reference, Commissioner.
COMMISSIONER: Not that fall within the terms of reference.
MR CRONJE: It's very hard for me to tell you exactly what players talk about. I don't ask you personal questions as to what you talk about over lunch time, and I think it's very harsh to ask me to reveal that. I can promise you from my side that it's not anything to do with money or bribery or related matters, whether it goes back to 1900's or the 1800', Mr Commissioner.
COMMISSIONER: Well, then you've misunderstood me because that's all I'm interested in is discussions of a similar nature, jokingly or otherwise, relating to cricket match fixing or related matters other than those that you have told me about. I'm not interested in personal discussions, obviously not. So I will rephrase my question ...(intervention)
MR CRONJE: I misunderstood you. I'm sorry.
COMMISSIONER: Oh. What's your answer?
MR CRONJE: No, there's nothing that the players joke about that falls in that, ja.
COMMISSIONER: Perhaps I'm not putting myself clearly. You've mentioned this incident, at first with Pieter Strydom and then with Kallis and the others and you've told me that - well, you've said semi-serious, but in a sense also joking. And then you said in answer to Ms Batohi that you probably would not have mentioned this incident if it hadn't come out in the evidence of some of the others. Now I've asked you whether there are other similar incidents which were treated semi-serious or even totally as a joke, which you haven't told me about.
MR CRONJE: I understand your question now, and there's no other incidents. Sorry about that.
MS BATOHI: Mr Cronjé, the only person that's not been mentioned in - well, that's been mentioned in the publicised transcripts, that has denied any approach by you is Mr Boje. What surprises me is that all the other players that have admitted approaches you say you did approach, and you've just conceded to me now that if they didn't talk about it you would not have disclosed it to this Commission. Now I'm going to put it to you that are you denying Mr Boje's involvement simply because he has not said anything about it?
MR CRONJE: What Mr Boje has said is absolutely 100% correct. I never spoke to him, I never joked to him, I never approached him. The only time that I know that Mr Boje was aware of anything like this was in the '96 meeting in India, Ms Batohi.
MS BATOHI: You and Mr Boje are very close friends, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: Since Mr Boje's birth, yes.
MS BATOHI: Well, that would indicate you're extremely close friends and family as well, I believe.
MR CRONJE: We're more than that.
MS BATOHI: Would you lie to protect him?
MR CRONJE: No.
MS BATOHI: Now paragraph 49 on page 16 of your affidavit, statement. You say that:
"I ignored Sanjay and Hamid the night before the first one day at Cochin, but when I was phoned the next day, the next morning and urged to go ahead",
I think it should read,
"....but then I was phoned the next morning and urged to go ahead."
You then say:
"I told them we would loose and that I had spoken to other players."
Which players did you mention to him?
MR CRONJE: I had a lot of conversations with Sanjay and I mentioned a lot of players, but if my memory serves me correctly the players that I mentioned in the first game in Cochin were Gibbs, myself, Boje, Hayward and Williams.
MS BATOHI: Did you mention the names of any other players that have not featured in any of the released transcripts?
MR CRONJE: Once again, I have not seen all the transcripts so I cannot tell you who the names are that have been in there.
MS BATOHI: Alright, well tell me who the names are that you gave to Sanjay at any time. Who were the names that you mentioned?
MR CRONJE: I believe that those are the only names that I mentioned. As I told you I had that brief encounter with Mr Kallis, Mr Klusener and Mr Boucher.
MS BATOHI: Didn't you mention Mr Strydom to him as well?
MR CRONJE: I'm sorry, I missed out Mr Strydom, but he wasn't playing in the first one-day international in Cochin.
MS BATOHI: Just think again. Did you miss out any other names?
MR CRONJE: No.
MS BATOHI: Now just dealing with this first One-dayer at Cochin. I'd like to at this stage - you refer in your statement to the transcript that is attached to Ms Wilkinson-Luck's affidavit. I presume you have a copy of that.
MR CRONJE: I don't have a copy on me, no, but I think I referred to what was shoved in front of my face the morning or the day that I arrived in Durban.
MS BATOHI: Alright, we'll get a copy to you in a moment. Mr Commissioner, I need to deal with this now. Perhaps we could just arrange to have a copy of that transcripts that's attached to Ms Wilkinson-Luck's statement.
Have you got that in front of you, Mr Cronjé?
MR CRONJE: Of BA-W2, yes.
MS BATOHI: Now perhaps you can assist us, Mr Cronjé. That first part of that transcript, if you can just read it and tell me whether you recall such a conversation taking place.
MR CRONJE: "Sanjay: Is Strydom playing?
Hansie: Yes, he is playing. Yeah.
Hansie: Boje is playing.
Sanjay: Yeah, Boje is play and who is playing? Gibbs?
Hansie: Gibbs and myself.
Sanjay: Ja, what about anybody else?
Hansie: No, I won't be able to get more.
Sanjay: You won't be able to get more?
MS BATOHI: Mr Cronjé, I just expected you to read it in your mind, but it doesn't matter. Do you recall such a conversation taking place?
MR CRONJE: I had a lot of conversations with Sanjay, and I had a lot of conversations with a lot of people, and that could well be one of the conversations, yes.
MS BATOHI: I'm going to hand you a copy of another transcript, which has been received from Interpol, but it contains essentially what is in that particular one as well, but just a little bit more. I'd like you to have a look at this and then I'll ask you for you comments in a moment.
MR CRONJE: Thank you.
MR WALLACE OBJECTS: I've only been here since Wednesday. This is the third time since then that this is what my learned friend has done, in breach of her undertakings to us and in breach of the proper and fair way to operate a Commission.
Yesterday I was handed, before Mr Cronjé finished his evidence, what was said to be a transcript dictated down the phone from, I quote, 'a reliable source'. I'd had no opportunity to consult about it, I knew nothing about it. Today we've had cross-examination about Mr Aronstam on the basis of a statement. We had an undertaking that all statements would be given to us in advance. We were not given that statement in advance, we knew nothing about it and now another document is produced. We're told this is a transcript now received from Interpol.
With respect, this is a gross invasion of Mr Cronjé's right to be fairly treated. That's all we ask for is that he be fairly treated, and that involves that we should be properly apprised before he gives his evidence, the material in my learned friend's possession so that instructions can be taken on it. We're now at the disadvantage that he's under cross-examination. We're not entitled by professional rules to speak to him, to take instructions and it's too late to deal with any of these matters. I must protest that this is most unfair treatment.
COMMISSIONER: Yes, now before I call on Ms Batohi to respond if it's necessary. First of all, as I understand it, and I understood Ms Batohi to say is that she wasn't reading from a statement of Mr Aronstam's it was certain notes that had been taken in consultation.
MR WALLACE: There was a statement which we asked for and were furnished with after - at the adjournment.
COMMISSIONER: And that's the statement that would have come presumably from you, Mr Blumberg, did it?
MR BLUMBERG: Mr Commissioner, we handed a copy of Mr Aronstam's statement, his signed statement, to Mr Cronjé's legal team and in fact have not yet handed a signed statement to Ms Batohi. We had given them a draft statement, but I was present at a consultation last week where extensive notes were taken by Ms Batohi where she obviously conducted her cross-examination from.
COMMISSIONER: So that's the position as far as the statement is concerned. Now this transcript. Are you telling me, Mr Wallace, that it hasn't been in the possession of your colleagues, Mr Cronjé's representatives?
MR WALLACE: It's been handed to us now for the first time. I haven't even been able to read it.
COMMISSIONER: I'm not asking you whether you've had it, I know you've only just joined the Commission, what about your instructing attorneys and your colleague Mr Dickerson.
MR WALLACE: Mr Commissioner, obviously when I speak 'handed to me', I mean the legal team for Mr Cronjé. It's not a question of Mr Sackstein or Mr Dickerson having forgotten to show me something. When I speak in this fashion I speak on behalf of my client and as a representative - as the leader of the legal team.
COMMISSIONER: Well, I'm surprised. I accept what you tell me, obviously. I'm surprised that you're unacquainted with it. It's been in the newspapers from time to time, in it's entirety, I think I'm right in saying. However, to the extent that you fancy that your or suggest that your client is being disadvantaged, I will do my best to repair that disadvantage, even to the extent of allowing Mr Cronjé to consult with you and his other legal representatives although it's in the middle of cross-examination.
MR WALLACE: Mr Commissioner, I'm sorry. You made a statement that this has been in the Press and you are surprised. It has not been in the Press in the form in which it has been handed to us, and my learned friend specifically introduced this with the basis that this has more in it than has been otherwise available. And on the face of it, what I'm reading in the first page is material I have never seen before. It has not been available to Mr Cronjé. It has not been available to his legal team, to the best of my knowledge it has not been in the Press. And the statement concerned seems to bear a facsimile date of the 1st of June. So it's been in my learned friends position since before the Commission started to sit. And it should have been handed to us, with all due respect. Those were the undertakings that were given and those undertakings were given because that is the proper way in which these things should be done.
COMMISSIONER: Very well. Let me hear what Ms Batohi has to say.
MS BATOHI: Yes, Mr Commissioner. Firstly I'd like to say there was absolutely no intention to mislead Mr Cronjé's team in any way or to place them in any disadvantaged position at all. It was simply that prior to the - well, prior to my dealing with this transcript I spoke to my team and said, 'well, look we do need a decent transcript of what has been appearing in the Press.' And in fact I believe Ms Wilkinson-Luck - if one looks at BA-W2, which is an attachment to her statement, contains everything that is contained in this statement, except for the first page. And if one looks at the first page - what's contained in there, it's really - well, in my view, nothing contentious at all. ...(intervention)
MR CRONJE: Mr Commissioner ...
MS BATOHI: ...and apart from that it is exactly what is contained in BA-W2.
COMMISSIONER: You wanted.....
MR CRONJE: I hope I'm not out of line by saying this. Ms Batohi, in all respect to you and you've got to understand where I come from as well, and I'm speaking not after consulting with my legal side. There was also reports in the media that huge sums of money had been transferred to my England account. I've checked that. There is no money that's been transferred. So what I'm trying to say to you is that everything that has been in the media - is that what I'm being tried on? What's come out in the media?
COMMISSIONER: Mr Cronjé, I think you should address that question to me. I'm not suggesting for a moment that you're being tried on what's in the media. I merely made the point that this particular transcript had been currently shown in the media, it appeared in various newspapers, but as I've said to Mr Wallace, if you're disadvantaged, if I'm satisfied that you are being disadvantaged, I will - if I have any doubt in my mind the doubt will be exercised in your favour I can assure you, then I am prepared to take whatever steps are necessary without attributing fault or blame to anyone at all, to enable you to consult with your counsel and attorneys, although it is unusual during cross-examination, but I trust you and I trust them to confine themselves to this, what I understand now is a new matter that they were not previously apprised of, and in that way I'm sure that you will not be disadvantaged in your giving of evidence.
MS BATOHI: I'm not sure whether I can proceed or whether Mr Wallace needs an adjournment to look at the first page and take instructions.
COMMISSIONER: Mr Wallace, would you like the opportunity of consulting with your client on the contents of the transcript, the whole of them? Not just the first page.
MR WALLACE: I frankly - I don't think that will help at the moment, Mr Commissioner. The damage has been done. The man's - if there is damage, it's been done. My protest is that the way in which this is being done is that Mr Cronjé and his team are not being fairly or properly treated. And this is, as I say, the third time it's happened in two days. And it's unsatisfactory. We have every reason for wanting this cross-examination finished. And perhaps, I would suggest, the proper way to deal with it is for Ms Batohi to continue with her questions, such as they are, let me see what the questions are that she asks about the additional material, which I know nothing about, and if I need at that stage an opportunity to consult with Mr Cronjé, I will ask for it.
COMMISSIONER: In what sense has your client been damaged? If I accede to that, which is somewhat less than I was prepared to offer you, but if you're happy that Ms Batohi should continue to cross-examine on the basis on the transcripts of these telephone conversations, then obviously I'll allow her to do so, as what she intends to do. And then, if at that subsequent stage, whenever it is, that you require time, you may of course have it. Are we agreed on that, Mr Wallace?
MR WALLACE: Yes, thank you, Mr Commissioner.
MS BATOHI: Before I continue, Mr Commissioner, I think I should place something on record. The transcript that was handed to Mr Wallace yesterday which he referred to was given to him 10 minutes before we resumed after lunch, it was something that I received yesterday morning, and was typed in haste yesterday morning. I accept at the earliest opportunity - I could have given Mr Wallace that before then. We hadn't had copies made et cetera, there were logistical problems, and it was handed to him at about 10 to 2 yesterday. That is the first thing.
The second thing as regards this particular transcript, as I've already said, it is exactly the same as that which appears in Ms Luck's statement, which Mr Cronjé's team have had from inception. There's one part in the front page,which is a small part which I believe is hardly even relevant in this matter, and my learned friend, Mr Wallace, has said that this is an unfair manner in which I've been dealing with this, and I would like to place on record that there was absolutely nothing, I believe, in my conduct that was unfair. It was just the circumstances that made that absolutely necessary.
In addition, I'm really not quite sure what damage this has called as my learned friend has said, but if there is any then I certainly am very sorry about it.
MR CRONJE: Excuse me, Mr Commissioner, can I speak? Once again, Ms Batohi, I just want to know when you say that there's no damage been done, these transcripts of tapes, whose phone, where, when, what time, were they tapped, bugged? Was it mine, was it Sanjay's, whose phone, whose cellphone was this from? Whose mobile phone was this from? Whose hotel phone was it from? If you can tell me which telephone, where, what date, what time, then I can answer the question. At the moment you're shoving a lot of statistics, a lot of conversations in front of me. I don't know when, where, what time.
You see, the transcript that you gave yesterday talks about me phoning somebody in Sharjah. When I was in India, you said that I - the transcript said that I called somebody in Sharjah and spoke in a foreign language. The only person that I know in Sharjah that I would speak in a foreign language would have been my wife. Now if I speak to my wife it is on a personal phone. The cellphone that I was given in India by Sanjay wasn't able to phone internationally.
What I'm trying to say is that there's - I haven't consulted with my legal side as I'm under cross-examination. I'm saying to you today, where is the invasion of privacy? Who's bugged? Is Interpol misleading you? Are we being tried on media? I just want to finish, Mr Commissioner. Are we being tried on media? Are we being tried on speculation? You see, at the moment there's a perception being created, Ms Batohi, that huge amounts of money was transferred to my account for the five One-day matches in the U.K. That is what I've been tried on. Who says these weren't cut-out, put together.
You see, that's what I'm trying to get to. If this was in fact 100% - and what I'm trying to get to here as well, Mr Commissioner, is what is difficult to put across in an affidavit like this and a handwritten statement in seven pages at 3 o'clock in the morning, after you've had four days to sleep about it, is that in fact 95% of what is on these transcripts was misleading somebody and it's been recorded. How on earth do you want me to put this to you so that it makes sense to you?
COMMISSIONER: I think, Mr Cronjé, Mr Wallace has already indicated that he does not have an objection to Ms Batohi questioning you on the transcript. You say 95% of it, if I understand it, is correct.
MR CRONJE: 95% was misleading Sanjay, where I said to him that players were in fact involved when they weren't. That's what I said to you. And what I'm also trying to get to you, Mr Commissioner, is that what the Indian Police and what Interpol are saying is that none of the South African players phones were bugged. None of the South African rooms were bugged. But now yesterday we get shoved a piece of paper that says a call that I had made from India to Sharjah and speaking in a foreign language. Is that not an invasion of privacy, Mr Commissioner?
COMMISSIONER: Mr Cronjé, I'm not going to go into that, it's really not part of my brief. But you - I understand from what you said a moment ago - you said 95% of what is on this tape is when you were playing with Sanjay, you were misleading him. Now I assume from that answer that you accept that what is on the tape, whatever your purpose was, is correct.
MR WALLACE: I'm sorry, Mr Commissioner, but with respect that is not my recollection of what Mr Cronjé said, or those of my colleagues. I certainly heard him to say that 95% of what he said to Sanjay, not 95% of what he said 'on these tapes', or these transcripts. With respect, there is a difference, and ...(intervention)
COMMISSIONER: I think I was very clear in my understanding, Mr Cronjé, that you had this document in your hand, this transcript, and that's what you were talking about. Was I wrong? Now that Mr Wallace has ...(intervention)
MR CRONJE: Correct.
COMMISSIONER: ...sought to correct me. Was I wrong in saying that when you talked about 95% of what you said to Sanjay, you were referring to what was in this transcript?
MR CRONJE: I have not had time to go through the whole transcript, Mr Commissioner.
COMMISSIONER: Have you never been taken through that transcript or had an opportunity to read it?
MR CRONJE: The only time I had an opportunity to read this was when it was given to me by Mr Green and by Mrs Wilkinson-Luck.
COMMISSIONER: Well, then you've had ample opportunity to read it. I'm not going to indulge in a debate with you. Do I understand, Mr Wallace, that you have no objection to Ms Batohi continuing her cross-examination on inter alia these transcripts, and then you will take counsel with - or Mr Cronjé will take counsel with you and you will decide on your position at a later stage. Am I correct in that?
MR WALLACE: Yes, that is correct, Mr Commissioner, subject obviously to the questions which have already been placed on record as to what exactly these are transcripts of, and those sort of things. But I await the questions as far as that is concerned.
COMMISSIONER: I'm not quite sure that I follow you, but anyway, carry on Ms Batohi.
MR WALLACE: Well, can I make it clear then, Mr Commissioner. These have been presented as transcripts. We do not have the tapes, we understand the Commission does not have the tapes, the Department of Foreign Affairs does not have the tapes and access to those tapes is being denied. We are not therefore in a position to ascertain whether those tapes even exist, whether these transcripts are accurate or the purported transcripts are accurate, whether they are extracts from bits and pieces of conversations, when they were taken, how they were taken, or anything else. On the face of it, they purport to be transcripts of private phone conversations, which as Mr Cronjé has said, and obviously his interjection without my prompting indicates his anxiety in these matters, which have been taken, certainly as we would understand the law and the law in this country, unlawfully contrary to his constitutional rights, his rights of privacy, and all the rest of it. We have no basis for knowing what they are, testing them or anything else.
So if my learned friend questions Mr Cronjé, and says, 'Look, here's a passage. Do you recall a conversation like that?', that's legitimate. But I will certainly object to any questions which are posed on the basis that these are genuine transcripts of genuine conversations until somebody has actually given some evidence to that effect. That's what I'm saying.
COMMISSIONER: I hear what you say. We may have to wait a long time before we get that evidence, but in any event, we'll allow Ms Batohi to continue with her cross-examination.
MS BATOHI: Thank you, Mr Commissioner. Mr Cronjé I understand your concerns, and that is my concern as well and we've been trying very, very hard to get the original transcripts, which would have saved us these problems. And I'm not for one minute basing my questions on the assumption that these are accurate. I would hope that you would be able to assist me in that regard, and then we can go from there.
If you look at - well, what I've handed to your counsel now and which has caused some concern, is - you have a copy of that. It's - if you look at page 1. It says:
Sanjay: Hello. Hi, Hansie.
Hansie: Hello. Hi, Sanjay.
Sanjay then says:
"Yeah, I'm in the lobby at the moment. Is it possible I can drop in for a few minutes?"
You then reply:
"Were are you? In the lobby?"
You then state:
"You can come in."
"I can come in?"
"Yeah, I'm in 346."
"Alright, no more. Okay goodbye, see you in two minutes."
I'll just stop there for a moment. Now, did that happen?
MR CRONJE: Did what happen, Ms Batohi?
MS BATOHI: This conversation take place between you and Sanjay, as far as you can recall, such a conversation?
MR CRONJE: I saw Sanjay on a lot of occasions in India. It could have happened, yes.
MS BATOHI: Can you recall him coming up to - how many times did you meet him in you hotel room in India?
MR CRONJE: Probably between 5 and 10 times.
MS BATOHI: This might be difficult, but the only indication of where you were when this conversation takes place is, "I am in 346." Is it possible for you to given the Commission any indication of where this conversation might have taken place?
MR CRONJE: Ms Batohi, I'm trying to help, I'm not trying to be against you, but it's impossible for me to remember all the hotel rooms that I was in.
COMMISSIONER: Did you stay in the Taj Palace Hotel in Mumbai? Can you remember that?
MR CRONJE: We stayed in the Taj Group, I'm not sure what the city was.
MS BATOHI: The next conversation that follows, you state -this is on the first page, which was handed just now to your counsel:
"Hansie: Okay. You are back in London."
"Yeah, I am in London."
Now just stopping there, can you recall when it was during your dealings with Sanjay that he returned to London?
MR CRONJE: I believe it was during the last match.
MS BATOHI: Sorry, can you explain that?
MR CRONJE: When I spoke to Sanjay the last time, I believe he was in London.
MS BATOHI: Can you recall when he went to London?
MR CRONJE: If my memory serves me correct, I think he went to London probably two or three days before the end of the tour.
MS BATOHI: Just for the sake of completeness, that particular page ends of with you saying to him:
"I had a look at the pitch today. It can turn big."
And he replies:
"It can turn big."
Now in view of the fact that you can't remember when this conversation took place, where it took place, in view of the fact that I don't know myself because of the problems that we have, I take it that you can't possibly say which pitch he was talking about or you were talking about at that stage?
MR CRONJE: The two pitches that I can recall that really turned big was the second and the fourth game, Ms Batohi. You must understand, Mr Commissioner, that most pitches on the sub-continent turn big, but as I can recall the second one in Jamshaypur (?) and the fourth one in Beroda turned particularly big.
MS BATOHI: I'm going to now refer to page 2 of the copy of the transcript that's just been handed to you, and which now is in line with what is in Ms Wilkinson-Lucks - the copy that was attached to her affidavit.
I read out earlier the portion of the transcript, ending just before the two lines in the middle of the page, do you see that, where Sanjay asks you whether various players are playing? Do you see that?
MR CRONJE: Are you referring to BA-W2?
MS BATOHI: No, I'm referring to - well, you'll actually see it on BA-W2, so maybe we'll refer to BA-W2 if that's more convenient to you.
MR CRONJE: That's fine.
MS BATOHI: Now that first part, just before the two lines, you in fact read that into the record. Do you recall such a conversation taking place?
MR CRONJE: Once again, Ms Batohi, I have to say to you that I did speak to Sanjay on various occasions in India, and that could very well be one of the conversations, yes.
MS BATOHI: Now what is your definition of the word 'playing' as it appears in that conversation?
MR CRONJE: Playing means whether they are participating in a match.
MS BATOHI: Well, if that is the case then it doesn't make sense to me, because Sanjay in line 5 says:
"Yeah, Boje is playing, and who is playing? Gibbs?"
And you then say:
"Gibbs and myself."
Sanjay then says:
"Yeah, what about anybody else?"
And your reply is:
"No, I won't be able to get more."
MR CRONJE: That's why I'm saying to you, Ms Batohi, none of this makes sense to me and it sounds kind of kinky that Gibbs and myself would be playing with one another.
MS BATOHI: You see, Mr Cronjé, that's the problem that we have, because if - do you agree that if one reads that transcript, and if it is correct, then there must be another definition to the word 'playing', because then it doesn't make sense?
MR CRONJE: Could be, yes exactly.
MS BATOHI: In fact, as you read it, it would appear that playing would mean who is actually involved in this plan or this scheme. Do you agree with that?
COMMISSIONER: Playing along, in other words.
MR CRONJE: Playing along with what, Commissioner?
COMMISSIONER: Playing along with some attempt to influence the decision of the game, or aspects of it.
MR CRONJE: If you want to read it that way, then it could well be, yes.
MS BATOHI: Well, Mr Cronjé, you read that transcript and you're a fairly intelligent person, it's not a question of 'if you want to read it like that'. How would you see, if you read that entire conversation, what sort of meaning would you give to the word 'playing' in that context?
MR CRONJE: In that context, I would say, 'Is Strydom playing?', it means is he playing in a match.
MS BATOHI: I'd like you to read the whole conversation and tell me whether in that context you seriously think that the word playing means playing in a match.
MR CRONJE: Ms Batohi, I'm not trying to be against you, but if you take one word or one sentence in a book and put it together with another sentence it might mean a totally different meaning to what is actually in a conversation.
MS BATOHI: I hear exactly what you're saying, but you're not answering my questions. Let's just assume for a moment. You said you had a lot of conversations. This is one that could possibly have taken place.
MR CRONJE: That's correct.
MS BATOHI: And it's on that basis that I'm asking you these questions. If you read that entire conversation up until the two lines, could that word 'playing' ever mean playing in a game? Read the entire conversation and tell me whether you still have that view.
MR CRONJE: Ms Batohi, it doesn't matter how many times I read this, it means to me - 'Is Strydom playing?', it means is he playing in a match.
MS BATOHI: I don't want to labour this, Mr Cronjé. Let's forget about just Strydom. I've said to you if you look at the entire conversation up until the two lines, do you follow me?
MR CRONJE: Yeah, I follow.
MS BATOHI: In that context, could the word 'playing' mean playing in the game?
MR CRONJE: Exactly. That's what I mean.
MS BATOHI: So why do you then say - when he says - I'm just going to read you this portion from the middle of that conversation. Sanjay says:
"Yeah, Boje is playing, and who is playing? Gibbs?"
MR WALLACE: I'm sorry, Mr Commissioner. This is most unfair. We don't know what was said before. I can think of several constructions of the conversation before this transcript started. There is an omission in that sentence, indicated by dots, we don't know what words should be in there, or whether that's a long extract. It all depends upon the whole thing. This is the problem we have with this. It's said to be a transcript of a conversation. Mr Cronjé says, 'well, look, I had conversations where I talked about these things.' But unless one sees the whole conversation and the whole context, with respect, to ask these questions is just unfair. Ms Batohi thinks it means one thing, the witness says it means something else. It's an impossible situation, with all due respect. And I must object to it.
COMMISSIONER: You've now placed another objection. What is the - what are you objecting to?
MR WALLACE: My objection is that what we have here is what purports to be five questions and answers out of a telephone conversation. We do not know what precede it, there's no greetings in this. It doesn't, on its face, purport to be a complete conversation, and the meaning to be attached to these particular lines will depend upon what has gone before. One can imagine a number of questions, which Sanjay might have asked ahead of that, just taking the line of cross-examination, which would properly generate the answer these are the people who are in the team for this particular match. Strydom's playing.
For example, Mr Commissioner, Mr Cronjé has said in his evidence that he told Sanjay that he'd spoken to Gibbs and Boje and Strydom. That he has said in his evidence, and then in that context, a prior conversation, it's perfectly reasonable for Sanjay to be saying, 'Well, is Strydom playing?', meaning is he playing in a particular match. Has he been chosen for the team, and he's playing. 'Boje? Yes, Boje is playing. Gibbs? Gibbs and myself.' It's a perfectly reasonable explanation. It depends on what goes before and what goes afterwards, and the problem is my learned friend is attaching a particular meaning on the basis this is a complete transcript, which it doesn't even pretend to be.
COMMISSIONER: Mr Wallace, you've now told me twice what the basis is for your objection. What I want to know is what is the nature of the objection? Are you objecting to any questions being asked on this tape?
MR WALLACE: I'm objecting to the form of these questions, which assumes that this is a complete transcript of a conversation when it is not, and which assumes a meaning based upon that assumption. Those questions are unfair and misleading to the witness, and they are not based on any fact which is in evidence, or which indeed my learned friend at this stage is capable of proving.
COMMISSIONER: So, I repeat to you, you've told me again the nature of your - the motivation for the objection, what do you want? What are you asking me to rule?
MR WALLACE: I'm asking you to rule that these questions, this line of questioning is an inappropriate and unfair line of questioning, because it is based on assumptions which are not justifiable, and facts not proven and which my learned friend can't prove. In those circumstances, with respect, it is unfair to the witness.
COMMISSIONER: Well, in other words, you're objecting to questions being put on the basis of the contents of this transcript. I understood you not too long ago to say that you wouldn't object at this stage to that, but that you'd reserve your position and object later in so far as may be necessary. Have you changed your tack?
MR WALLACE: No, Mr Commissioner. I indicated that if my learned friend posed questions which lead to proof, then in so far as that was possible and permissible for her to ask questions, that was - I had no objection. But at the moment she is putting to Mr Cronjé that the word 'playing' in this extract is - has a particular meaning and that that meaning is incompatible with the meaning which he gives to it. And in order to do that, she is assuming that this is a complete transcript of a complete telephone conversation, which on it's own face it manifestly is not, and she is on that basis assuming a meaning and she is putting to the witness that the meaning he attaches to the words cannot be correct. With respect, Mr Commissioner, that is not an appropriate or proper form of cross-examination. I'm just doing my job and objecting to it.
COMMISSIONER: I have no problem with your doing your job and objecting to it. I would be inclined to think it is the obvious way of cross-examining and it's been put on - it's -your client has already suggested that this may not be the whole tape, In fact, he's gone further and he's suggested that it may not be an original tape at all, or a transcript of it. It may be doctored, it may be non-existent.
Now all that was taken into account when you and I debated the point a little earlier this afternoon and I understood you to say that you were reserving your position and that Ms Batohi could cross-examine. Now is that no longer so?
MR WALLACE: Mr Commissioner, I am perfectly prepared for my learned friend to ask such questions as may properly be asked on the basis of this material, notwithstanding its background difficulties. But when the questions she asks are, in my submission with respect, improper, not factually based, then I will object to them. And that is why I've raised an objection at this stage. I've merely objected to the line of questioning, which is directed at the meaning to be attached to the word 'playing', because that, in my submission, is an improper line of questioning in the light of the background which you've mentioned to me. It's only that question that I'm concerned with, she's welcome to ask any other questions that may properly be asked on this material. But with respect, that question and that line of questioning is not an appropriate or proper line of questioning, and I object to it.
COMMISSIONER: Well, I must confess I can't see any reasonable objection to the line of questioning that Ms Batohi is seeking to pursue. It's - obviously it's hypothetical in the sense that there may be something either before or after it, but as it stands it is susceptible either of the interpretation that Mr Cronjé puts on it, or I would have thought equally on the interpretation of what Ms Batohi seeks to put on it. If in fact, it's subsequently argued that because there is no apparent beginning to it, although I would have - well, let's assume there isn't and also that it ends rather abruptly, that there may have been more that's relevant, well then one will obviously take that into account in assessing and evaluating the question and the answer.
Perhaps, Ms Batohi, you could put your question differently and Mr Cronjé is now well aware - you're aware of what your counsel has said, that this is not necessarily a complete version. But on the other hand it does, as it stands there, allow for more than one interpretation of the word 'playing'. You've said that as far as you're concerned it's playing in the sense of playing in a match.
MR CRONJE: That's correct.
COMMISSIONER: Well, Ms Batohi, the other construction, we can argue that out. It's a matter probably for argument. So let's carry on in the little time we have left.
MS BATOHI: As it pleases you, Mr Commissioner. I think, Mr Cronjé, this is going to be an extremely difficult exercise, but hopefully you'll be able ...(intervention)
MR CRONJE: We had an obligation at the start that we're both on the same side, so we're going to try our best.
MS BATOHI: I'm encouraged to hear that.
COMMISSIONER: The two of you on the same side, I'm not taking any bets. (general laughter)
MR CRONJE: You're safe on my side because I've got money on her, don't worry, I....
MS BATOHI: That's not going to make the questions any easier, Mr Cronjé. In any event, the second portion of that transcript - I'm afraid you're going to have to help us because, as you say, I accept it's not a complete transcript, and if you - I'm going to expect you to guide us and tell us where these conversations took place, could have taken place, et cetera, and whether you recall having had conversations of similar content as it appears in this exhibit.
Now the second one is fairly long. If you look at it, it starts just after the two lines on BA-W2, and it runs through to the bottom of that page. Well, maybe you can help me. Do you need time to read that conversation before I ask you any questions on that?
MR CRONJE: Depends what you're going to ask, Ms Batohi.
MS BATOHI: Well, do you recall such a conversation having taken place?
MR CRONJE: I recall having a lot of conversations and that could be one of them, yes.
MS BATOHI: Well, maybe you should look at that conversation and decide whether that conversation is something that rings a bell with you.
MR CRONJE: The fact that I spoke to Sanjay rings a bell, yes. So that could very well be one of the conversations, Ms Batohi.
MS BATOHI: Let's not go around in circles, Mr Cronjé. I know you spoke to Sanjay on a number of occasions. That particular conversation, maybe you should take time to read it and tell me whether it is a conversation that took place between you and Sanjay.
MR CRONJE: Yeah, that could very well be.
MS BATOHI: Now I'm going to take you through that conversation and there's a couple of questions that I need to ask you about that.
Firstly, you state five lines down from the top:
"No, no. They were saying they were already doing Cochin. The other guys are already angry with me because I have not received their money, you know."
Did you say that to Sanjay?
MR CRONJE: It is possible that I said it, yes.
MS BATOHI: Why would you have said that to him?
MR CRONJE: Because I was merely playing him along, spinning him along.
MS BATOHI: Now if you were doing that, then it appears that there would have - from that line - there would have been some agreement about Cochin and what the other players would receive. Is that correct?
MR CRONJE: Ms Batohi, I've told you before that 95% of the time that I spoke to Sanjay I was spinning him along.
MS BATOHI: I understand that. But just listen to my question. If you say you could have said that to him. You say:
"The other guys were already angry with me because I have not received their money, you know."
Now it's clear from that, that there must have been some agreement before that about money to be played to other players. Isn't that clear from that statement that you made?
MR CRONJE: That is clear that that statement was made, ja, and it's clear that that is what I said to Sanjay, yes.
MS BATOHI: Listen to my question very carefully, otherwise we're going to take longer than we need to. If you said that to him, that would necessarily imply that there was some agreement before that for certain monies to be paid to certain players. Do you agree with that?
MR CRONJE: Yes. And that's what I say in my affidavit as well.
MS BATOHI: Now what was that - was there any prior agreement to play any players for Cochin?
MR CRONJE: Sanjay said to me that he will pay the players if we play along in Cochin, yes.
MS BATOHI: And what was he going to play the players for Cochin?
MR CRONJE: I cannot remember.
MS BATOHI: So what you're saying then, is that there was an agreement that players will get paid for the Cochin match, but you can't remember the amount?
MR CRONJE: That's what I lead Sanjay to believe, yes.
COMMISSIONER: And that was on the basis that they would play along? In other words ...(intervention)
MR CRONJE: Correct.
COMMISSIONER: But I understand from you that they didn't play along, in fact, as it worked out.
MR CRONJE: Mr Commissioner, I never spoke to the players in Cochin.
MS BATOHI: If we continue with that transcript, Sanjay then says:
"No, but I told you, I've already given him altogether 60."
Can you comment on that statement by Sanjay?
MR CRONJE: That's what is says.
MS BATOHI: Well, did he say that to you?
MR CRONJE: As I say, I cannot remember. Sixty what, Ms Batohi?
MS BATOHI: Well, I was hoping that you'd be able to help us with that.
MR CRONJE: As I said, I had a lot of conversations with Sanjay. I'm not sure what he's referring to.
COMMISSIONER: But all your conversations, presumably, didn't cover questions of match -fixing and then playing him along, all these 10 or so conversations that you had with him. There must have been some of them that were about other subjects, other matters, or not.
MR CRONJE: I was introduced to Sanjay in Durban and my understanding was that he was a gambler, and most of the conversations took place along those lines.
COMMISSIONER: Carry on, Ms Batohi.
MS BATOHI: Thank you, Mr Commissioner. And did - I'm just going to go further down with this transcript and see how best we can deal with it. Sanjay then says:
"And tomorrow I can deposit the money in your account. It is not a problem."
Well, before I get there. If you look at the previous line that I read to you:
"No, but I told you, I've already given him altogether 60."
In your dealings with Sanjay who would he have given money to, and who would - for you, so who could that 'him' possibly refer to?
MR CRONJE: In Sanjay and my dealings the only person that I know with was myself and Sanjay. I was introduced to Sanjay by Hamid.
MS BATOHI: Now Sanjay in this line says:
"I have already given him altogether 60."
Would he have given some other person money that was meant for you?
MR CRONJE: Not that I'm aware of, no.
MS BATOHI: So have you any idea who this "him" could possibly refer to?
MR CRONJE: As I've said to you, Ms Batohi, the only triangle is myself and Sanjay and Hamid. Hamid introduced me to Sanjay, and that's all I ever spoke to.
MS BATOHI: Because you then - Mr Commissioner, it's very, very difficult questioning in this fashion. It's going to be - you know, I can't put it to Mr Cronjé as a fact because it's being - the questions are being asked on the basis that it could have taken place. The conversation could have taken place and it makes it very, very difficult to cross-examine without an authentic transcript of some sort. I have tried thus far, but at the end of the day, I really don't know how far we can go with a transcript of this nature. I will perhaps continue, but it's just all in the air so to speak, you know.
COMMISSIONER: If that's your attitude, I think it would be better to leave it over at any rate. Because as you say, it is in a sense hypothetical, and perhaps particularly if you're finding it difficult to cross-examine, then I've no doubt Mr Cronjé will be finding it equally difficult to answer. So perhaps we should leave that for the moment, and can you carry on with some other aspect of the cross-examination? Or would you like me to adjourn. It's a little earlier then I had in mind.
MS BATOHI: I think maybe perhaps we ought to adjourn at this stage, and I need to reconsider my position with regard to this and how I'm going to approach it, perhaps in a more meaningful way because it certainly doesn't seem to be having the desired effect. It's not the right way to deal with - in this fashion, but I think I need to think about then and then we'll come back tomorrow.
COMMISSIONER: Now talking about coming back tomorrow, do you have a problem Mr Wallace?
MR WALLACE: No. Whatever happens tomorrow, I will be enjoying it in Durban, I'm afraid, Mr Commissioner. It's absolutely impossible for me to be here tomorrow.
COMMISSIONER: Enjoying it where?
MR WALLACE: In Durban, my home town, I'm afraid.
COMMISSIONER: What is the reaction to the possibility of starting a little earlier tomorrow to try and make up some of the lost time that - ?
MR MANCA: We're happy to do that, Mr Commissioner.
MR BLUMBERG: We'd like to as well, Mr Chair.
MR DICKERSON: Yes, Mr Commissioner.
COMMISSIONER: Shall we make it - we mustn't be too uncivilised about it, but should we make it 9:15? How would that sound? 9 o'clock? Any advance on 9 o'clock? Alright, we'll start at 9 o'clock tomorrow morning.
COMMISSION ADJOURNS UNTIL 9H00 ON FRIDAY 23 JUNE 2000