CSA slams Tsolekile for alleging match fixing saga wasn't properly investigated
JOHANNESBURG - Cricket South Africa on Friday slammed former nationally contracted player Thami Tsolekile over “unfounded allegations,” relating to Tsolekile and six other players’ suspensions for their roles in the spot-fixing saga that affected the RamSlam in 2015/16.
Cricket SA hauled out it’s own files about the investigation which led to seven players being suspended from the sport for periods ranging between two and 20 years, while Gulam Bodi, who admitted being the “intermediary for international betting syndicates,” was sentenced to fives years in jail last year under the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act of 2004.
Cricket SA slammed Tsolekile for saying he and others who were investigated for their parts in the scandal had been coerced into pleading guilty. Tsolekile said in a radio interview this week, that he and other black players, who’d been charged and then found guilty for their roles in the affair, were being discriminated against based on their race. Lonwabo Tsotsobe, banned for eight years and Ethy Mbhalathi - for 10 - have in recent weeks, amidst the storm unleashed by the Black Lives Matter controversy - implied they were both victims of unfair targeting from CSA, which they claimed wanted to get the case wrapped up quickly, while claiming others were involved.
In his radio interview, Tsolekile mentioned the names of Rob Frylinck and Vaughn van Jaarsveld as players whose roles in the spot fixing sage, he alleged, had been covered up by CSA.
“As regards the allegation that Vaughn van Jaarsveld was approached by Mr Bodi and failed to disclose this approach, CSA confirms that both he and (fast bowler) Craig Alexander were approached by Mr Bodi and both players reported the matter to SA Cricketers Association and to the Anti-Corruption Unit as required by CSA Anti-Corruption Code and the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (Act 12 of 2004),” read Friday’s statement by CSA. “Their possible involvement in the match fixing scheme was fully investigated not only by the investigating team but also by the Hawks and they were cleared of any wrongdoing.”
“The allegation of match fixing during the Champions League by Mr Frylinck was never mentioned by Mr Tsolelike during his interviews with ACU. Both Mr Alexander and Van Jaarsveld reported to the ACU that Mr Bodi had mentioned this as part of his approach.” said Louis Cole, CSA’s Anti-Corruption officer. “Although that relates to a separate tournament outside South Africa and falls under the jurisdiction of the International Cricket Council, it was referred to the ICC ACU for investigation. At no stage prior to the Ram Slam investigation did Mr Tsolekile or any other player provide any evidence to substantiate this claim as required by the Code.”
“According to Mr Bodi, he requested Mr van Jaarsveld to recruit Mr Frylinck to participate in the match fixing scheme. This aspect was thoroughly investigated, including interviewing one of the bookmakers in India, and no evidence was uncovered to support the possibility that Mr Frylinck had been recruited.”
Judge Bernard Ngoepe, who assisted CSA’s ACU to investigate the spot fixing, also slammed Tsolekile for claiming the players were discriminated against based on their race. “The allegation that the investigation deliberately targeted black players must also be rejected. Both white and black players were investigated and charged, based on the evidence that was collected and presented,” said Ngoepe.
Cricket SA added that it still has audio and video recordings of all the interviews which will form part of what the organisation said was an on-going criminal investigation.