South Africa sports minister offers CSA state assistance in fixing probe

Last month Gulam Bodi was banned for 20 years for attempting to fix matches during the Ram Slam 20-overs competition © Associated Press

Fikile Mbalula, South Africa’s sports minister, has offered Cricket South Africa state services to assist in the ongoing match-fixing investigation if needed. The ministry also impressed on CSA the importance of concluding the matter thoroughly because of the criminality involved.

“The minister explained the need for Cricket South Africa to leave no stone unturned and get to the bottom of the allegations as match-fixing is a criminal offence in South African law,” a statement from the ministry’s office read. “The meeting noted the work that has already been done in respect of the investigation and the assurance from Cricket South Africa that its anti-corruption unit has got the investigations under control. The minister offered the services of state investigative agencies to CSA in order to bolster the capacity of the investigation, should such a need arise.”

Last month, CSA banned Gulam Bodi for 20 years after he admitted to contriving or attempting to fix matches during the Ram Slam 20-overs competition. CSA said it believed they caught Bodi in the planning phase and that no actual fixing had taken place. It also clarified that the investigation was “ongoing”.

Four days later, it emerged from a CSA board meeting that information gathered had been passed on to the South African Police Services, who would handle the criminal aspects. However, the police did not confirm receipt of any information at that time or when contacted by ESPNcricinfo on Tuesday.

Under South Africa’s Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Law, match-fixing is a crime in the country. If the police were to get involved in the investigation, it would be handled by the Hawks, the specialised unit that deals with corruption.

Since Bodi’s sanction, no other players have been suspended, however at least two former Test cricketers and one other international are known to have been questioned. CSA has also had to make moves to reassure the tournament’s title-sponsors Ram – who are considering whether to renew their contract when it expires at the end of the April – that the competition is clean.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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