SA defend match-fixing probe Thami Tsolekile

JOHANNESBURG. — Cricket South Africa has defended the integrity of its 2015 match fixing investigation that rocked South African cricket.

A number of players, including Thami Tsolekile and Gulam Bodi, were heavily implicated in fixing related to the 2015 RAM SLAM domestic T20 competition and banned after an investigation.

Bodi was identified as the mastermind behind the operation while other players including Jean Symes, Ethy Mbhalati and Pumelela Matshikwe were also banned.

This week, in an interview with Robert Marawa on Marawa Sports Worldwide, Tsolekile brought the case into the spotlight by suggesting that certain white players had escaped investigation despite also being involved in the scandal.

According to Tsolekile, who was given a 12-year ban, Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Robbie Frylinck, had also been approached by Bodi in 2015 without reporting it to authorities.

“For the last five years, my financial earnings have been cut. Vaughn, for the last five years, has been earning a salary,” Tsolekile said on Marawa’s show.

“Frylinck was also involved in this. He did a game in the Champions League Twenty20, according to Bodi.

“But Frylinck, as an ex-Proteas player, he is still playing and I am not.”

Yesterday, CSA released a statement defending the integrity of its investigation into the scandal.

“Cricket South Africa has noted with concern some of the unfounded allegations in the media by certain of the players banned for their part in the match fixing scandal arising from the 2015 Ram Slam competition.

‘’Contrary to the allegation that SACA (South African Cricketers’ Association) carried out the investigation, the investigation was carried out by CSA’s Anti-Corruption Unit under the guidance and authority of retired Judge Bernard Ngoepe, former Judge President of North Gauteng and South Gauteng.

“A comprehensive investigation was carried out over approximately 18 months with the CSA Anti-Corruption Unit acting in collaboration with, and with the assistance of, Judge Ngoepe, specialist external lawyers, the ICC, the BCCI, the Hawks and an external digital forensic team.

“The CSA Board was kept regularly updated on developments pertaining to the investigation.

The players largely co-operated with the investigation. Each of the players was represented by their own attorneys who assisted in advising them on their rights and obligations under the CSA Anti-Corruption Code.

“These attorneys had the opportunity of sitting in on every meeting with the respective players, and assisted them in both evaluating the evidence presented and in concluding their Sanction Agreements in terms of which they pleaded guilty to various corruption-related offences under the Code.

“At no time did any of the players or their respective attorneys submit that they were coerced into admitting their guilt or signing their Sanction Agreements.

“They did so willingly and, in fact, were consulted on, and provided input into, the respective press releases announcing confirmation of the offences to which they had admitted.’’ — Sport24.

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